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Fen Beed, IITA "What is Aflatoxin? "


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Science Forum 2013 (
Breakout Session 4: Food Safety

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Fen Beed, IITA "What is Aflatoxin? "

  1. 1. What is Aflatoxin? Fen Beed IITA, Tanzania Breakout Session 4 on Food Security Science Forum 2013 Nutrition and health outcomes: targets for agricultural research, 23‒25 September 2013, Bonn, Germany
  2. 2. Invisible and odourless metabolites produced by ubiquitous fungus Aspergillus flavus
  3. 3. Problem; perfect aflatoxin storm in sub-Saharan Africa susceptible crops susceptible climate suboptimal production systems 35o N & S Under-reported
  4. 4. Problem; aflatoxin harms people and animals acute hepatitis, cirrhosis chronic anti-nutritional reduced vigour
  5. 5. Problem; aflatoxin harms trade
  6. 6. Two phases of aflatoxin contamination Before crop maturity Developing crops become infected Associated with crop damage (insect, bird, stress) Favoured by high temperature (night) and dry conditions After crop maturity Contamination is increased; By rain during harvest By drying on soil By poor handling during harvest, transport and storage By storage if humid, warm, insect infested Food is vulnerable until consumed!
  7. 7. Awareness
  8. 8. • Harmonized standards in foods and feeds • Enhanced capacity of regulators • Standard protocols for sampling and quantification • Alternative uses (treat with ammonia and feed to cattle) • Inclusion in nutrition and health policies • Critical role of PACA and RECs Advocacy and policies
  9. 9. Aflatoxin summary Agricultural issue with significant, negative impacts on; Food safety Public health Animal health Trade