Aflatoxins, major contributions to harvest loss
– what do we know and what don’t we know?
Lindahl, J
Grace, D
Agriculture ...
The topics of today
• What are aflatoxins?
• Why are aflatoxins so important?
• Health and economic impact?
• Losses?
• Wh...
Why a veterinary public health question?
The concept of one health
Ecosystem
health
Animal
health
Human
health
Why a veterinary public health question?
What is necessary for health?
Food
security
Food
safety
Health
Measuring and mitigating the risk
of mycotoxins in maize and dairy
products for poor consumers in
Kenya
The MyDairy project
What are aflatoxins?
• Aflatoxin “discovered” as the cause of Turkey X
disease, 1960s
• Toxin produced by Aspergillus spp,...
Characteristics
• Invisible toxin
• Odourless
• Heat-stable
Clean maize or fungus-free maize cobs. Photo by IITA.
Conseque...
Why is the toxin there?
• Fungi infect stressed crops pre-harvest, during harvest
or during storage
• Especially susceptib...
What promotes the fungal growth?
• Pre-harvest: damage by insects, draughts
• Insects cause damage and are mechanical vect...
What is the problem?
• Aflatoxin one of the most potent carcinogens known
• Acute aflatoxicosis
• Hepatotoxic
• Chronic ex...
How gigantic is the problem?
• Maize and groundnuts staple foods
• Acute outbreaks can claim 100s of lives (Kenya
outbreak...
More problems?
• International standards
Ref: Wu. VOL. 38, NO. 15, 2004 / ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
FDA limits
Na...
The effect on trade
• Estimated that total mycotoxin losses in the
states are 1.4 billion USD annually
• Some years farmer...
The effect on trade
When EU harmonized the limits:
• Decrease to 4 ppb: saves 2 lives per billion
• Europe receives 57% of...
The consequences of export barriers
• The best products are exported
• The bad products are left to the national markets
P...
Why the sudden alert?
• Been known for a while
• International standards reinforced
• Little problem in most countries
• N...
Problems moping up:
What to do with contaminated crops?
What is done with mouldy food?
• Feed to chicken
• Feed to other animals
• Discard in pit, manure
• Mix with good crop and...
What is done to mouldy feed?
• Discard for manure
• Keep feeding, or dry before feeding
• Dry and mix with new feed
• Burn...
What can be done?
• Genetically modified maize (Bt corn)
• Saves 23 millions in the US
• Aflasafe
• Dr Charity Mutegi awar...
Where is the research?
Knowledge, attitudes and practices
• What is the KAP among the dairy value chain?
Participatory epi...
Where is the research?
Knowledge, attitudes and practices
• What is the KAP among consumers?
Consumers in low income and m...
Where is the research?
Gender influence
• What is the differences of KAP between men and
women?
Where is the research?
Children and stunting
• What is the association between aflatoxin
exposure and childhood stunting?
...
Where is the research?
Risk mapping exercises
• Global mapping of the presence of aflatoxin
• Risk mapping in Kenya
• Pred...
Maize consumption
P. Ochungo
Milk consumption
P. Ochungo
Where is the research?
The dairy value chain
• Risk assessment of the value chain
• Consumption
• Levels
• Costs of aflato...
Farmer Consumer
Economic
flow
Aflatoxin
flow
Human
exposure
Feed
producer
AB1
AB1
AB1-> AM1
AM1
Corn/feed
produced
at farm...
Where is the research?
Willingness to pay
• Are people willing to pay for certified maize?
• Are people willing to pay for...
Where is the research?
Mitigations
• Can we find bacteria that stops the fungal
growth?
• Can we find bacteria that bind t...
Conclusions
Maize storage barns. Photo by IITA.
Aflatoxins are serious threats to human and animal
health
Aflatoxins cause...
Why a veterinary public health question?
What is necessary for health?
Food
security
Food
safety
Health
Food
security
Food...
A big team
• Delia Grace, PI
• Johanna Lindahl, coordinator
• Anima Sirma, PhD student
• Daniel Mugangai, PhD student
• Sa...
This work is financed by
Ministry of foreign affairs, Finland
It is implemented in a partnership with
International food p...
The presentation has a Creative Commons licence. You are free to re-use or distribute this work, provided credit is given ...
Johanna Lindahl, ILRI: Aflatoxins as major contributions to harvest loss – what do we know and not know?
Johanna Lindahl, ILRI: Aflatoxins as major contributions to harvest loss – what do we know and not know?
Johanna Lindahl, ILRI: Aflatoxins as major contributions to harvest loss – what do we know and not know?
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Johanna Lindahl, ILRI: Aflatoxins as major contributions to harvest loss – what do we know and not know?

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Presented at Agri4D 2013 conference at the session on Pre/Post-harvest Losses – Including Post-harvest Handling and Storage

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Johanna Lindahl, ILRI: Aflatoxins as major contributions to harvest loss – what do we know and not know?

  1. 1. Aflatoxins, major contributions to harvest loss – what do we know and what don’t we know? Lindahl, J Grace, D Agriculture for development conference Uppsala September 2013
  2. 2. The topics of today • What are aflatoxins? • Why are aflatoxins so important? • Health and economic impact? • Losses? • What can be done? • Where is the research now? White maize cobs with different severities of Aspergillus colonization. Photo by IITA..
  3. 3. Why a veterinary public health question? The concept of one health Ecosystem health Animal health Human health
  4. 4. Why a veterinary public health question? What is necessary for health? Food security Food safety Health
  5. 5. Measuring and mitigating the risk of mycotoxins in maize and dairy products for poor consumers in Kenya The MyDairy project
  6. 6. What are aflatoxins? • Aflatoxin “discovered” as the cause of Turkey X disease, 1960s • Toxin produced by Aspergillus spp, mainly Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus • Aspergillus flavus toxin http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContam inants/CausesOfIllnessBadBugBook/ucm070664.htm
  7. 7. Characteristics • Invisible toxin • Odourless • Heat-stable Clean maize or fungus-free maize cobs. Photo by IITA. Consequence: not always a loss of harvest noted, but a loss of safe products
  8. 8. Why is the toxin there? • Fungi infect stressed crops pre-harvest, during harvest or during storage • Especially susceptible crops: maize, groundnuts • Maize ear rot • Optimum temperature 37C (range 12-48) • Mainly tropical disease • Metabolic by-product from certain strains Photo by CIMMYT. Photo by IITA. Aspergillus naturally infected groundnuts in Mozambique.
  9. 9. What promotes the fungal growth? • Pre-harvest: damage by insects, draughts • Insects cause damage and are mechanical vectors • Post-harvest: Poor storage conditions Improper drying of grains - Different grains being dried on roadside with rains looming in the horizon. Photo by IITA
  10. 10. What is the problem? • Aflatoxin one of the most potent carcinogens known • Acute aflatoxicosis • Hepatotoxic • Chronic exposures • Carcinogenic- hepatocellular carcinoma • Immunomodulation? • Stunting?
  11. 11. How gigantic is the problem? • Maize and groundnuts staple foods • Acute outbreaks can claim 100s of lives (Kenya outbreak 2004-2005 150 known fatal cases) • 4.5 billion people chronically exposed (estimate by US CDC) Food crops such as maize, tomatoes, yam tubers, bunches of plantain on sale at ijaye market, Oyo State, Nigeria. Photo by IITA.
  12. 12. More problems? • International standards Ref: Wu. VOL. 38, NO. 15, 2004 / ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY FDA limits National limits
  13. 13. The effect on trade • Estimated that total mycotoxin losses in the states are 1.4 billion USD annually • Some years farmers are forced to dispose of half their crops of corn and peanuts • Thailand, Indonesia, Phillipines total market loss: 200 million USD (and 700 million USD costs for livestock losses and health costs)
  14. 14. The effect on trade When EU harmonized the limits: • Decrease to 4 ppb: saves 2 lives per billion • Europe receives 57% of African and Middle eastern exports • Estimated to decrease African exports by 64% (670 million USD) • Peanuts one of Africa’s few export commodities (Gambia, Senegal, South Africa)
  15. 15. The consequences of export barriers • The best products are exported • The bad products are left to the national markets Photo by IITA.
  16. 16. Why the sudden alert? • Been known for a while • International standards reinforced • Little problem in most countries • New rules that food aid should be purchased partly locally
  17. 17. Problems moping up: What to do with contaminated crops?
  18. 18. What is done with mouldy food? • Feed to chicken • Feed to other animals • Discard in pit, manure • Mix with good crop and mill • Wash, dry, re-cook T. Kiama, unpublished
  19. 19. What is done to mouldy feed? • Discard for manure • Keep feeding, or dry before feeding • Dry and mix with new feed • Burn (4 out of 54 groups) T. Kiama, unpublished
  20. 20. What can be done? • Genetically modified maize (Bt corn) • Saves 23 millions in the US • Aflasafe • Dr Charity Mutegi awarded World food prize 2013 • Aflatoxin binders? Improved maize plants with mature cobs in a field in northern Nigeria. Photo by IITA.
  21. 21. Where is the research? Knowledge, attitudes and practices • What is the KAP among the dairy value chain? Participatory epidemiology among farmers (T. Kiama, unpublished results) • 53/54 says mouldy food is dangerous • 20/54 says it is poisonous or can kill • 5/54 know about aflatoxin or know that mould can cause cancer
  22. 22. Where is the research? Knowledge, attitudes and practices • What is the KAP among consumers? Consumers in low income and middle-high income areas (M. Walke, unpublished results) • Low income areas: • 55% know of aflatoxin (45% of these believe it can be transferred to milk) • 53% think aflatoxin is a serious threat, 19% medium, 10% minor. • Middle-high income: • 80% know of aflatoxin(51% of these believe it can be transferred to milk) • 32% think aflatoxin is a serious threat, 7% medium, 1% minor.
  23. 23. Where is the research? Gender influence • What is the differences of KAP between men and women?
  24. 24. Where is the research? Children and stunting • What is the association between aflatoxin exposure and childhood stunting? • Exposure? RCT? • What importance is aflatoxin exposure in milk to the childhood stunting? • Consumption? Aflatoxin levels in milk?
  25. 25. Where is the research? Risk mapping exercises • Global mapping of the presence of aflatoxin • Risk mapping in Kenya • Predictive mapping? P. Ochungo
  26. 26. Maize consumption P. Ochungo
  27. 27. Milk consumption P. Ochungo
  28. 28. Where is the research? The dairy value chain • Risk assessment of the value chain • Consumption • Levels • Costs of aflatoxin within the dairy value chain • Health • Production
  29. 29. Farmer Consumer Economic flow Aflatoxin flow Human exposure Feed producer AB1 AB1 AB1-> AM1 AM1 Corn/feed produced at farm Corn/feed purchased Milk produced at farm AB1 AM1 Treatments Feed seller Farmer Veterinary services Milk retailer Agricultural services Consumer
  30. 30. Where is the research? Willingness to pay • Are people willing to pay for certified maize? • Are people willing to pay for certified free milk?
  31. 31. Where is the research? Mitigations • Can we find bacteria that stops the fungal growth? • Can we find bacteria that bind the aflatoxin? • Can we identify practices that decrease fungal growth and promote these? Maize storage structure in Cameroon. Photo by IITA.
  32. 32. Conclusions Maize storage barns. Photo by IITA. Aflatoxins are serious threats to human and animal health Aflatoxins cause crop losses for millions The main burden is in low-income countries
  33. 33. Why a veterinary public health question? What is necessary for health? Food security Food safety Health Food security Food safety
  34. 34. A big team • Delia Grace, PI • Johanna Lindahl, coordinator • Anima Sirma, PhD student • Daniel Mugangai, PhD student • Sara Ahlberg, PhD student • Maria Walke, master student • Teresa Kiama, post doc • Nadhem Mtimet • Elizabeth Waithanji • Pamela Ochungo • Nouhoum Traore • Partners at MTT, BecA, IFPRI • and all participants
  35. 35. This work is financed by Ministry of foreign affairs, Finland It is implemented in a partnership with International food policy research institute (IFPRI) MTT Finland Biosciences in eastern and central Africa (BecA) It contributes to the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for nutrition and health (CRP 4) Acknowledgements
  36. 36. The presentation has a Creative Commons licence. You are free to re-use or distribute this work, provided credit is given to ILRI. better lives through livestock ilri.org

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