A method for the analysis of aflatoxins in a range of Asian herbs was developed using AFLACARD TOTAL, an antibody based card test after clean up with a solid phase column or with an immunoaffinity column. In this study ten types of herb were examined for aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 , using a number of different extraction methods and clean-up techniques prior to analysis with AFLACARD TOTAL. Results were confirmed using EASI-EXTRACT Aflatoxin immunoaffinity columns in conjunction with HPLC. Extractions using 80% methanol were effective for simple herbs and required only clean-up with a solid phase syringe column, provided in the test kit to remove pigments. For more complex samples, a 75% acetonitrile solution was required in conjunction with an immunoaffinity column prior to analysis with AFLACARD TOTAL in order to improve extraction and sample clean up. In all cases, except a few species, the screening results achieved with the card were in agreement with the HPLC results and recoveries were above 70% for all herbs.
Mycotoxin production inhibitors are useful as lead compounds in the development of effective drugs for preventing mycotoxin contamination in food and feed. These inhibitors also serve as valuable probes for investigating the regulatory mechanisms that control mycotoxin production in fungi. We screened microbial metabolites and essential oils to find inhibitors that specifically targeted aflatoxin production in Aspergillus parasiticus and trichothecene production in Fusarium graminearum. This led to findings of aflatoxin production inhibitory activity of aflastatins, blasticidins A and S, dioctatin A, dillapiol, apiol and spiroethers. We also found trichothecene production inhibitory activity of spiroethers, precocenes and piperitone. Our work on these compounds is reviewed.
The dietary intake of aflatoxin was targeted at the adult Malaysian population aged 18 to 59 years using the Total Diet Studies (TDS) approach as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Data from the Malaysian Food Consumption Survey in 2003 was reviewed and 47 foods were selected based on bibliographical knowledge and on expertise of analysts specialized in the routine analysis of raw and processed products for aflatoxin. Taking into consideration variabilities in contaminants as a result of production and processing, the selected food was split into two food categories namely national food, which encompass processed foods and are likely to contain homogenous levels of contamination with respect to their production and/or processing methods; and regional foods, which are foods that are unprocessed and untransformed and therefore might contain heterogenous levels of contamination resulting from production and/or preparation method specific to the region. Based on these criteria, the initial food list consisting of 47 foods were further split into 28 foods categorized as national food and 19 foods categorized as regional food. Food samples from the food list were collected to represent the food consumption pattern and encompass all geographical areas in Malaysia, which included 6 regions (North, Central, South, East, Sabah and Sarawak) with each region having 3 sampling points. Sampling was performed at retail markets to ensure that the sampled products represent the foods available to the public. Collected samples were then prepared ‘as consumed’ based on individual food composite approach. Analysis of individually composited samples were then carried out using methods that have demonstrated its acceptability including adequacy of its limit of detection, limit of quantification, accuracy and precision. Based on the results of the analysis and information from the food consumption, the dietary exposure and risk from getting liver cancer of the Malaysian adult population will then be estimated.
Mycotoxins are substances produced by certain strain of fungi and they come into the picture on the negative side of food availability and consumption. Among them, the aflatoxins are the most well known and can occur in many valuable products from plant origin, such as peanut products, job’s tear, hairy basil seed, dried chili, etc.. One aspect that all these products have in common is that they are produced mainly in regions with warm and high humidity climate. Thailand is one of the world leading agricultural suppliers and is located in the tropical zone with the hot and high humidity climate so the contamination of aflatoxins is an unavoidable problem and must be overcome. In the last 5 years, Thailand received the notifications from the importing country on the over-legislation limits of aflatoxins contamination in several agricultural commodities, i.e. peanut products, hairy basil seed, Job’s tear and dried chili. Therefore it is necessary to set up the prevention and control measure of aflatoxins and to provide the mechanism on the establishment of inspection and certification system. The “From Farm to Table” concept as well as “The Food Safety Roadmap” is the “must do” issue by The Department of Agriculture as the main department under The Ministry of Agriculture and cooperatives which is directly responsible for the food safety strategies mainly on crops in order to control the agricultural commodity so as to meet standard for the sake of safety as well as to comply with international obligation.
To date, there have been many activities for risk assessment and risk management on mycotoxins by international organizations such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) since 80’s. In Japan, whereas the regulation for aflatoxin B1 limit in all foods was established at 1971, there were few official activities on mycotoxins for the next 30 years. The situation on mycotoxins in Japan, however, has been changing drastically responding to the 56th JECFA meeting at 2001 which evaluated the risks of several important mycotoxins. From 2001, the research group on mycotoxins was organized under the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan (MHLW), and surveillance for several mycotoxins has been conducted. As a result, regulatory limit for deoxynivalenol (provisional) and patulin were established and total aflatoxins regulation in peanuts ant tree nuts will be established at 2010. In 2006, the consultation for evaluation of methods for mycotoxin analysis was also organized under the MHLW, and has already validated two methods, simultaneous analysis for deoxynivalenol and nivalenol in wheat and analysis of total aflatoxins in peanuts and tree nuts. In this paper, recent activities on mycotoxins under the MHLW will be mainly presented, and activities on mycotoxins of the Food Safety Commission in Japan and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will be also presented briefly.