Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus fungi which can occur in a wide range of important raw food commodities, including cereals, nuts, spices, figs and dried fruit. Aflatoxins are responsible for most of the economic losses to the US grain industry, estimated at 923$ million annually.
Affected commodities and derived products:
Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 are normally found in foods, while Aflatoxins M1 and M2 are produced by cows or other ruminants fed moldy grain, and are found in milk and dairy products. Aflatoxin B1 is the most frequently occurring of these mycotoxins. Host crops, which include maize, sorghum and groundnuts, are particularly susceptible to infection by Aspergillus and to Aflatoxin contamination.
Toxicity and economical importance:
Aflatoxins are toxic, both acutely and chronically. They are of major interest due to their poisonous and carcinogenic effect on both human and animal health. Aflatoxin B1 is one of the most potent carcinogens known, and hence long-term chronic exposure to extremely low levels of Aflatoxins in the diet is an important human health issue.
Regulation and permissible limits:
Regulations have been set for human food and animal feed in many countries. The EC and the FDA have established maximum permissible limits for Aflatoxins in a range of commodities. (The amounts in food should be reduced to the lowest levels that are technologically possible). These include cereals, nuts, dried fruit, milk and dairy products.
Analytical detection methods:
Analytical methods used to detect aflatoxins are based on TLC, HPLC and ELISA. Accurate analysis of mycotoxins such as Aflatoxins depends on the use of certified mycotoxin standard reference materials that are used for calibration and validation of the food safety analytical instruments and methods.
Fermentek's Aflatoxin products:
Fermentek supplies the full range of the regulated Aflatoxins: B1, B2, G1, G2, M1, and M2 as well as aflatoxicol and sterigmatocystin. These are supplied both as crystalline solids, and as pre-calibrated liquid standard solutions.