Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: aflatoxin

30 Mycoflora and Aflatoxin Contamination of Kokoro: A Nigerian Maize Snack

Authors: D. A. Onifade


Kokoro is maize snack which is very popular among poor masses in Nigeria who consume it along with gari(a cassava product) as lunch on a regular basis. In this study, fungal contaminants of kokoro were characterized and its aflatoxin content determined. A total of 30 fungal isolates were obtained from kokoro samples and they belong to 3 different species. Aspergillus flavus had the highest frequency of occurrence of 73.33% while Penicillium species had the lowest (6.66%). Different concentration of aflatoxin B1 was detected in some of the kokoro samples analyzed. Sample D had the highest concentration of 7.25 parts per billion (ppb). The lowest concentration detected was 0.06 ppb in sample P. No aflatoxin G1 and G2 was detected in all the kokoro samples with exception of sample P which contained 2.54 ppb aflatoxin G1.According to international standards some of the kokoro samples are not suitable for human consumption because of high-level aflatoxin which was above the recommended level. Therefore, production of kokoro should be standardized and appropriate packaging materials utilized to prevent the growth of aflatoxigenic fungi. This is to safeguard the health of many poor Nigerians who consume it on a regular basis.

Keywords: kokoro, maize snack, aflatoxin, contamination, mould, Nigeria

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29 Comparison of Aflatoxin B1 Levels in Iranian and Indian Spices by ELISA Method

Authors: Amir Sasan Mozaffari Nejad


This study was carried out to detect the presence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in 36 samples of spices from Iran and India that was included of chilli powder (n=12), black pepper powder (n=12) and whole black pepper (n=12). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method was used for analysing the samples. Aflatoxin B1 was found in all the spices samples, the concentration of AFB1 in Iranian samples was ranged from 63.16 to 626.81 ng/kg and in Indian samples was ranged from 31.15 to 245.94 ng/kg. The mean of AFB1 concentration in the chilli powder was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than the whole and powdered black pepper. However, none of the samples exceeded the maximum prescribed limit i.e. 5 µg/kg of European Union regulations for aflatoxin B1. The occurrence of AFB1 in spices samples could be a potential hazard for public health.

Keywords: Aflatoxin B1, chilli, black pepper, ELISA, Iran, India

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28 New Challenge: Reduction of Aflatoxin M1 Residues in Cow’s Milk by MilBond Dietary Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate (HSCAS) and Its Effect on Milk Composition

Authors: A. Aly Salwa, H. Diekmann, S. Hafiz Ragaa, DG Abo Elhassan


This study was aimed to evaluate the effect of Milbond (HSCAS) on aflatoxin M1 in artificially contaminated cows milk. Chemisorption compounds used in this experiment were MIlBond, hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate (HSCAS). Raw cow milk were artificially exposed to aflatoxin M1 in a concentration of 100 ppb) with addition of Nilbond at 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 % at room temperature for 30 minutes. Aflatoxin M1 was decreased more than 95% by HSCAS at 2%. Milk composition consist of protein, fat, lactose, solid non fat and total solid were affected by addition of some adsorbents were not significantly affected (p 0.05). Tthis method did not involve degrading the toxin, milk may be free from toxin degradation products and is safe for consumption. In addition, the added material may be easily separated from milk after the substance adsorbs the toxin. Thus, this method should be developed by further researches for determining effects of these compounds on functional properties of milk. The ability of hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate to prevent or reduce the level of aflatoxin MI residues in milk is critically needed. This finding has important implications, because milk is ultimately consumed by humans and animals, and the reduction of aflatoxin contamination in the milk could have an important impact on their health.

Keywords: aflatoxin M1, Hydrated sodium calcium aluminium silicate, detoxification, raw cow milk

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27 Health Burden of Disease Assessment for Minimizing Aflatoxin Exposure in Peanuts

Authors: Min-Pei Ling


Aflatoxin is a fungal secondary metabolite with high toxicity capable of contaminating various types of food crops. It has been identified as a Group 1 human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Chronic aflatoxin exposure has caused a worldwide public food safety concern. Peanuts and peanut products are the major sources of aflatoxin exposure. Therefore, some reduction interventions have been developed to minimize contamination through the peanut production chain. The purpose of this study is to estimate the efficacy of interventions in reducing the health impact of hepatocellular carcinoma caused by aflatoxin contamination in peanuts. The estimated total disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) was calculated using FDA-iRISK online software. Six aflatoxin reduction strategies were evaluated, including good agricultural practice (GAP), biocontrol, Purdue Improved Crop Storage packaging, basic processing, ozonolysis, and ultraviolet irradiation. The results indicated that basic processing could prevent huge public health loss of 4,079.7–21,833 total DALYs per year, which accounted for 39.6% of all decreased total DALYs. GAP and biocontrol were both effective strategies in the farm field, while the other three interventions were limited in reducing total DALYs. In conclusion, this study could help farmers, processing plants, and government policymakers to alleviate aflatoxin contamination issues in the peanut production chain.

Keywords: aflatoxin, health burden, disability-adjusted life-years, peanuts

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26 The Effects of Production, Transportation and Storage Conditions on Mold Growth in Compound Feeds

Authors: N. Cetinkaya


The objective of the present study is to determine the critical control points during the production, transportation and storage conditions of compound feeds to be used in the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) feed safety management system. A total of 40 feed samples were taken after 20 and 40 days of storage periods from the 10 dairy and 10 beef cattle farms following the transportation of the compound feeds from the factory. In addition, before transporting the feeds from factory immediately after production of dairy and beef cattle compound feeds, 10 from each total 20 samples were taken as 0 day. In all feed samples, chemical composition and total aflatoxin levels were determined. The aflatoxin levels in all feed samples with the exception of 2 dairy cattle feeds were below the maximum acceptable level. With the increase in storage period in dairy feeds, the aflatoxin levels were increased to 4.96 ppb only in a BS8 dairy farm. This value is below the maximum permissible level (10 ppb) in beef cattle feed. The aflatoxin levels of dairy feed samples taken after production varied between 0.44 and 2.01 ppb. Aflatoxin levels were found to be between 0.89 and 3.01 ppb in dairy cattle feeds taken on the 20th day of storage at 10 dairy cattle farm. On the 40th day, feed aflatoxin levels in the same dairy cattle farm were found between 1.12 and 7.83 ppb. The aflatoxin levels were increased to 7.83 and 6.31 ppb in 2 dairy farms, after a storage period of 40 days. These obtained aflatoxin values are above the maximum permissible level in dairy cattle feeds. The 40 days storage in pellet form in the HACCP feed safety management system can be considered as a critical control point.

Keywords: aflatoxin, beef cattle feed, compound feed, dairy cattle feed, HACCP

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25 Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay Based Detection of Aflatoxin M1 and Ochratoxin A in Raw Milk in Punjab, India

Authors: Pallavi Moudgil, J. S. Bedi, R. S. Aulakh, J. P. S. Gill


Mycotoxins in milk are of major public health concern. The present study was envisaged with an aim to monitor the occurrence of aflatoxin M1 and ochratoxin A in raw milk samples collected from individual animals from dairy farms located in Punjab (India). A total of 168 raw milk samples were collected and analysed using competitive ELISA kits. Out of these, 9 (5.4%) samples were found positive for aflatoxin M1 with the mean concentration of 0.006-0.13 ng/ml and 2 (1.2%) samples exceeded the established maximum residue limit of 0.05 ng/ml established by the European Union. For ochratoxin A, 2 (0.1%) samples were found positive with the mean concentration of 0.61-0.83 ng/ml with both the samples below the established maximum residue limit of 2 ng/ml. The results showed that the milk of dairy cattle is safe with respect to ochratoxin A contamination but occurrence of aflatoxin M1 above maximum residue limit suggested that feed contaminated with mycotoxins might have been offered to dairy cattle that can pose serious health risks to consumers.

Keywords: Aflatoxin M1, health risks, maximum residue limit, milk, Ochratoxin A

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24 Activity of Resveratrol on the Influence of Aflatoxin B1 on the Testes of Sprague Dawley Rats

Authors: Ali D. Omur, Betul Apaydin Yildirim, Yavuz S. Saglam, Selim Comakli, Mustafa Ozkaraca


Twenty-eight male Sprague Dawley rats (aged 3 months) were used in the study. The animals were given feed and water as ad libitum. Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into 4 groups as 7 rats in each group. Aflatoxin B1 (7.5 μg/200 g), resveratrol (60 mg/kg) was administered to rats in groups other than the control group. At the end of the 16th day, blood, semen and tissue specimens were taken by decapitation under ether anesthesia. The effects of aflatoxin B1 and resveratrol on spermatological, pathological and biochemical parameters were determined in rats. When we evaluate the spermatological parameters, it is understood that resveratrol has a statistically significant difference in terms of sperm motility and viability (membrane integrity) compared to the control group and aflatoxin B1 administration groups, indicating a protective effect on spermatological parameters (groups: control, resveratrol, aflatoxin B1 and Afb1 + res; respectively, values of motility: 71,42 ± 0,52b, 72,85 ± 1, 48c , 60,71 ± 1,30a, 57,14 ± 2, 40a; values of viability: 63,85 ± 1,33b, 70,42 ± 2,61c, 55,00 ± 1,54a, 56,57 ± 0,89a. In terms of pathological parameters -histopathological examination- in the control and resveratrol groups, seminiferous tubules were observed to be in normal structure. In the group treated with aflatoxin, the regular structure of the spermatogenic cells deteriorated, and the seminiferous tubules became necrotic and degenerative. In the group treated with Afb1 + res, the decreasing of necrotic and degenerative changes were determined compared with in the group treated with aflatoxin. As immunohistochemical examination, cleaved caspase 3 expression was found to be very low in the control and resveratrol groups. Cleaved caspase 3 expression was severely exacerbated in seminiferous tubules in aflatoxin group but cleaved caspase 3 expression level decreased in Afb1 + res. In the biochemical direction, resveratrol has been shown to inhibit the adverse effects of aflatoxin on antioxidant levels (GSH-mmol/L, CAT-kU/L, GPx-U/mL, SOD-EU/mL) and to show a protective effect. For this purpose, the use of resveratrol with antioxidant activity was investigated in preventing or ameliorating damage to aflatoxin B1. It has been concluded that resveratrol effectively prevents the aflatoxin-induced testicular damage and lipid peroxidation. It has also been shown that resveratrol has protective effects on sperm motility and viability.

Keywords: Aflatoxin B1, rat, resveratrol, sperm

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23 Efficacy of a Zeolite as a Detoxifier in Broiler Feed Contaminated with Aflatoxin B1

Authors: R. Stevens, W.L. Bryden


The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of zeolite in preventing the adverse effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in broilers. A total of 540 one-day-old Ross chicks were randomly divided into nine treatments, with four replicate pens per treatment and 15 chicks per pen. The treatments included 3 Levels of AFB1 (0,1and 2 mg/kg diet) and 3 levels of zeolite (0, 1.5 and 3 %) in a 3 ×3 factorial arrangement. The experimental treatments commenced on d 7 post-hatch. A starter diet was provided from d 1 to 14, a grower diet from d 15 to 28 and a finisher diet from d 29 to d 49. Diets were based on corn and soybeans and formulated to meet the bird's requirements. The evaluated parameters were as follows: Bodyweight, daily gain, feed intake (FI), feed conversion (FC), relative weights of organs (carcass, liver, heart and abdominal fat) and clinical biochemistry parameters: alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Bodyweight, daily gain and FC were significantly (P<0.05) impaired by aflatoxin. Relative weights of the liver and heart were also affected. The addition of zeolite (1.5 and 3 %) to the contaminated diets ameliorated the effects of aflatoxin, especially at the higher level of inclusion. These data demonstrate that this specific sorbent (zeolite) can protect against the toxicity of AFB1in young broiler chicks.

Keywords: aflatoxin, broiler, toxicity, zeolite

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22 The Determination of Aflatoxins in Paddy and Milled Fractions of Rice in Guyana: Preliminary Results

Authors: Donna M. Morrison, Lambert Chester, Coretta A. N. Samuels, David R. Ledoux


A survey was conducted in the five rice-growing regions in Guyana to determine the presence of aflatoxins in multiple fractions of rice in June/October 2015 growing season. The fractions were paddy, steamed paddy, cargo rice, white rice and parboiled rice. Samples were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. A subset of the samples was further analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for concurrence. All analyses were conducted at the University of Missouri, USA. Of the 186 samples tested, 16 had aflatoxin concentrations greater than 20 ppb the recommended limit for aflatoxins in food according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. An additional three samples had aflatoxin B1 concentrations greater than the European Union Commission maximum levels for aflatoxin B1 in rice at 5 µg/kg and total aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) at 10 µg/kg. The survey indicates that there is no widespread aflatoxin problem in rice in Guyana. The incidence of aflatoxins appears to be localized.

Keywords: aflatoxin, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), rice fractions

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21 Post Harvest Fungi Diversity and Level of Aflatoxin Contamination in Stored Maize: Cases of Kitui, Nakuru and Trans-Nzoia Counties in Kenya

Authors: Gachara Grace, Kebira Anthony, Harvey Jagger, Wainaina James


Aflatoxin contamination of maize in Africa poses a major threat to food security and the health of many African people. In Kenya, aflatoxin contamination of maize is high due to the environmental, agricultural and socio-economic factors. Many studies have been conducted to understand the scope of the problem, especially at pre-harvest level. This research was carried out to gather scientific information on the fungi population, diversity and aflatoxin level during the post-harvest period. The study was conducted in three geographical locations of; Kitui, Kitale and Nakuru. Samples were collected from storage structures of farmers and transported to the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA), International Livestock and Research Institute (ILRI) hub laboratories. Mycoflora was recovered using the direct plating method. A total of five fungal genera (Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Rhizopus and Bssyochlamys spp.) were isolated from the stored maize samples. The most common fungal species that were isolated from the three study sites included A. flavus at 82.03% followed by A.niger and F.solani at 49% and 26% respectively. The aflatoxin producing fungi A. flavus was recovered in 82.03% of the samples. Aflatoxin levels were analysed on both the maize samples and in vitro. Most of the A. flavus isolates recorded a high level of aflatoxin when they were analysed for presence of aflatoxin B1 using ELISA. In Kitui, all the samples (100%) had aflatoxin levels above 10ppb with a total aflatoxin mean of 219.2ppb. In Kitale, only 3 samples (n=39) had their aflatoxin levels less than 10ppb while in Nakuru, the total aflatoxin mean level of this region was 239.7ppb. When individual samples were analysed using Vicam fluorometer method, aflatoxin analysis revealed that most of the samples (58.4%) had been contaminated. The means were significantly different (p=0.00<0.05) in all the three locations. Genetic relationships of A. flavus isolates were determined using 13 Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) markers. The results were used to generate a phylogenetic tree using DARwin5 software program. A total of 5 distinct clusters were revealed among the genotypes. The isolates appeared to cluster separately according to the geographical locations. Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA) of the genetic distances among the 91 A. flavus isolates explained over 50.3% of the total variation when two coordinates were used to cluster the isolates. Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) showed a high variation of 87% within populations and 13% among populations. This research has shown that A. flavus is the main fungal species infecting maize grains in Kenya. The influence of aflatoxins on human populations in Kenya demonstrates a clear need for tools to manage contamination of locally produced maize. Food basket surveys for aflatoxin contamination should be conducted on a regular basis. This would assist in obtaining reliable data on aflatoxin incidence in different food crops. This would go a long way in defining control strategies for this menace.

Keywords: aflatoxin, Aspergillus flavus, genotyping, Kenya

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20 Detection of Aflatoxin B1 Producing Aspergillus flavus Genes from Maize Feed Using Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Technique

Authors: Sontana Mimapan, Phattarawadee Wattanasuntorn, Phanom Saijit


Aflatoxin contamination in maize, one of several agriculture crops grown for livestock feeding, is still a problem throughout the world mainly under hot and humid weather conditions like Thailand. In this study Aspergillus flavus (A. Flavus), the key fungus for aflatoxin production especially aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), isolated from naturally infected maize were identified and characterized according to colony morphology and PCR using ITS, Beta-tubulin and calmodulin genes. The strains were analysed for the presence of four aflatoxigenic biosynthesis genes in relation to their capability to produce AFB1, Ver1, Omt1, Nor1, and aflR. Aflatoxin production was then confirmed using immunoaffinity column technique. A loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) was applied as an innovative technique for rapid detection of target nucleic acid. The reaction condition was optimized at 65C for 60 min. and calcein flurescent reagent was added before amplification. The LAMP results showed clear differences between positive and negative reactions in end point analysis under daylight and UV light by the naked eye. In daylight, the samples with AFB1 producing A. Flavus genes developed a yellow to green color, but those without the genes retained the orange color. When excited with UV light, the positive samples become visible by bright green fluorescence. LAMP reactions were positive after addition of purified target DNA until dilutions of 10⁻⁶. The reaction products were then confirmed and visualized with 1% agarose gel electrophoresis. In this regards, 50 maize samples were collected from dairy farms and tested for the presence of four aflatoxigenic biosynthesis genes using LAMP technique. The results were positive in 18 samples (36%) but negative in 32 samples (64%). All of the samples were rechecked by PCR and the results were the same as LAMP, indicating 100% specificity. Additionally, when compared with the immunoaffinity column-based aflatoxin analysis, there was a significant correlation between LAMP results and aflatoxin analysis (r= 0.83, P < 0.05) which suggested that positive maize samples were likely to be a high- risk feed. In conclusion, the LAMP developed in this study can provide a simple and rapid approach for detecting AFB1 producing A. Flavus genes from maize and appeared to be a promising tool for the prediction of potential aflatoxigenic risk in livestock feedings.

Keywords: Aflatoxin B1, Aspergillus flavus genes, maize, loop-mediated isothermal amplification

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19 The Comparation of Limits of Detection of Lateral Flow Immunochromatographic Strips of Different Types of Mycotoxins

Authors: Xinyi Zhao, Furong Tian


Mycotoxins are secondary metabolic products of fungi. These are poisonous, carcinogens and mutagens in nature and pose a serious health threat to both humans and animals, causing severe illnesses and even deaths. The rapid, simple and cheap detection methods of mycotoxins are of immense importance and in great demand in the food and beverage industry as well as in agriculture and environmental monitoring. Lateral flow immunochromatographic strips (ICSTs) have been widely used in food safety, environment monitoring. Forty-six papers were identified and reviewed on Google Scholar and Scopus for their limit of detection and nanomaterial on Lateral flow immunochromatographic strips on different types of mycotoxins. The papers were dated 2001-2021. Twenty five papers were compared to identify the lowest limit of detection of among different mycotoxins (Aflatoxin B1: 10, Zearalenone:5, Fumonisin B1: 5, Trichothecene-A: 5). Most of these highly sensitive strips are competitive. Sandwich structure are usually used in large scale detection. In conclusion, the mycotoxin receives that most researches is aflatoxin B1 and its limit of detection is the lowest. Gold-nanopaticle based immunochromatographic test strips has the lowest limit of detection. Five papers involve smartphone detection and they all detect aflatoxin B1 with gold nanoparticles. In these papers, quantitative concentration results can be obtained when the user uploads the photograph of test lines using the smartphone application.

Keywords: aflatoxin B1, limit of detection, gold nanoparticle, lateral flow immunochromatographic strips, mycotoxins

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18 Relationship between Feeding Type and the Occurrence of Aflatoxin M1 in Milk of High Yielding Dairy Cows

Authors: G. S. Sumanasekara, W. M. P. B. Weerasingheg


The major problem associated with concentrate feeds used for feeding cattle is declining quality by contamination with Aflatoxins. Objective: The aim of the study was to detect levels of Aflatoxin M1(AFM1) in cow milk , AFM1 levels present in milk related to different feed types and to identify the relationship between feed type and Aflatoxin M1 in milk. Design: cross sectional study design. Milk samples from each farm assessed for presence of AFM1 using High Performance Liquid Chromatographic method. Setting: Ten dairy farms located in Nuwara-Eliya district were randomly selected.AFM1 analysis was done using High Performance Liquid Chromatography(HPLC). Results: The results indicated that AFM1 was present in 50% of samples. Coconut poonac shown the most significant relationship among individual feeds having a correlation of 0.65 and P value of 0.042 . Among feed combinations, coconut poonac and beer pulp combination showed the highest correlation of 0.77 and P value of 0.05. Grasses had shown a very poor relationship with the AFM1 occurrence in milk (r=0.053, P=0.885). Relationship between overall concentrate feeds in the study and AFM1 in milk, it was clear that they had a significant relationship having correlation of 0.65 and P value of 0.042. Majority of samples lied between 0-10 ng L-1 of AFM1 and one sample exceeded above 30 ng L-1. Two samples had AFM1 concentrations between 22-32 ng L-1. One sample lied between 32-42ng L-1, did not exceed the EU recommended level of 50 ng L-1. The presence of AFM1 in milk under various management and feeding conditions is yet to be investigated in Sri Lanka.

Keywords: aflatoxin M1, aspergillus, cattle feed, concentrates, cow milk, high perforamance liquid chromatography

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17 The Use of Microbiological Methods to Reduce Aflatoxin M1 in Cheese

Authors: Bruna Goncalves, Jennifer Henck, Romulo Uliana, Eliana Kamimura, Carlos Oliveira, Carlos Corassin


Studies have shown evidence of human exposure to aflatoxin M1 due to the consumption of contaminated milk and dairy products (mainly cheeses). This poses a great risk to public health, since milk and milk products are frequently consumed by a portion of the population considered immunosuppressed, children and the elderly. Knowledge of the negative impacts of aflatoxins on health and economics has led to investigations of strategies to prevent their formation in food, as well as to eliminate, inactivate or reduce the bioavailability of these toxins in contaminated products This study evaluated the effect of microbiological methods using lactic acid bacteria on aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) reduction in Minas Frescal cheese (typical Brazilian product, being among the most consumed cheeses in Brazil) spiked with 1 µg/L AFM1. Inactivated lactic acid bacteria (0,5%, v/v de L. rhamnosus e L. lactis) were added during the cheese production process. Nine cheeses were produced, divided into three treatments: negative controls (without AFM1 or lactic acid bacteria), positive controls (AFM1 only), and lactic acid bacteria + AFM1. Samples of cheese were collected on days 2, 10, 20 and 30 after the date of production and submitted to composition analyses and determination of AFM1 by high-performance liquid chromatography. The reductions of AFM1 in cheese by lactic acid bacteria at the end of the trial indicate a potential application of inactivated lactic acid bacteria in reducing the bioavailability of AFM1 in Minas frescal cheese without physical-chemical and microbiological modifications during the 30-day experimental period. The authors would like to thank São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP (grants #2017/20081-6 and #2017/19683-1).

Keywords: aflatoxin, milk, minas frescal cheese, decontamination

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16 A Risk Assessment Tool for the Contamination of Aflatoxins on Dried Figs Based on Machine Learning Algorithms

Authors: Kottaridi Klimentia, Demopoulos Vasilis, Sidiropoulos Anastasios, Ihara Diego, Nikolaidis Vasileios, Antonopoulos Dimitrios


Aflatoxins are highly poisonous and carcinogenic compounds produced by species of the genus Aspergillus spp. that can infect a variety of agricultural foods, including dried figs. Biological and environmental factors, such as population, pathogenicity, and aflatoxinogenic capacity of the strains, topography, soil, and climate parameters of the fig orchards, are believed to have a strong effect on aflatoxin levels. Existing methods for aflatoxin detection and measurement, such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), can provide accurate results, but the procedures are usually time-consuming, sample-destructive, and expensive. Predicting aflatoxin levels prior to crop harvest is useful for minimizing the health and financial impact of a contaminated crop. Consequently, there is interest in developing a tool that predicts aflatoxin levels based on topography and soil analysis data of fig orchards. This paper describes the development of a risk assessment tool for the contamination of aflatoxin on dried figs, based on the location and altitude of the fig orchards, the population of the fungus Aspergillus spp. in the soil, and soil parameters such as pH, saturation percentage (SP), electrical conductivity (EC), organic matter, particle size analysis (sand, silt, clay), the concentration of the exchangeable cations (Ca, Mg, K, Na), extractable P, and trace of elements (B, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu), by employing machine learning methods. In particular, our proposed method integrates three machine learning techniques, i.e., dimensionality reduction on the original dataset (principal component analysis), metric learning (Mahalanobis metric for clustering), and k-nearest neighbors learning algorithm (KNN), into an enhanced model, with mean performance equal to 85% by terms of the Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC) between observed and predicted values.

Keywords: aflatoxins, Aspergillus spp., dried figs, k-nearest neighbors, machine learning, prediction

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15 The Effect of Probiotic Bacteria on Aflatoxin M1 Detoxification in Phosphate Buffer Saline

Authors: Sumeyra Sevim, Gulsum Gizem Topal, Mercan Merve Tengilimoglu-Metin, Mevlude Kizil


Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a major toxic and carcinogenic molecule in milk and milk products. Therefore, it poses a risk for public health. Probiotics can be biological agent to remove AFM1. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of probiotic bacteria on AFM1 detoxification in phosphate buffer saline. The PBS samples artificially contaminated with AFM1 at concentration 100 pg/ml were prepared with probiotics bacteria that including monoculture (L. plantarum, B. bifidum ATCC, B. animalis ATCC 27672) and binary culture (L. bulgaricus + S. thermophiles, B. bifidum ATCC + B. animalis ATCC 27672, L. plantarum+B. bifidum ATCC, L. plantarum+ B. animalis ATCC 27672). The samples were incubated at 37°C for 4 hours and stored for 1, 5 and 10 days. The toxin was measured by the ELISA. The highest levels of AFM1 binding ability (63.6%) in PBS were detected yoghurt starter bacteria, while L. plantarum had the lowest levels of AFM1 binding ability (35.5%) in PBS. In addition, it was found that there was significant effect of storage on AFM1 binding ability in all groups except the one including B. animalis (p < 0.05). Consequently, results demonstrate that AFM1 detoxification by probiotic bacteria has a potential application to reduce toxin concentrations in yoghurt. Moreover, probiotic strains can react with itself as synergic or antagonist.

Keywords: aflatoxin M1, ELISA, probiotics, storage

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14 Assessment of Milk Quality in Vehari: Evaluation of Public Health Concerns

Authors: Muhammad Farhan Saeed, Waheed Aslam Khan, Muhammad Nadeem, Iftikhar Ahmad, Zakir Ali


Milk is an important and fundamental nutrition source of human diet. In Pakistan, the milk used by the consumer is of low quality and is often contaminated due to the lack of quality controls. Mycotoxins produced from molds which contaminate the agriculture commodities of animal feed. Mycotoxins are poisons which affect the animals when they consume contaminated feeds. Aflatoxin AFM1 is naturally occurring form of mycotoxins in milk which is carcinogenic. To assess public awareness regarding milk Aflatoxin contamination, a population-based survey using a questionnaire was carried out from general public and from farmers of both rural and urban areas. It was revealed from the data that people of rural area were more satisfied about quality of available milk but the awareness level about milk contamination was found lower in both areas. Total 297 samples of milk were collected from rural (n=156) and urban (n=141) areas of district Vehari during June-July 2015. Milk samples were collected from three different point sources; farmer, milkman and milkshop. These point sources had three types of dairy milk including cow milk, buffalo milk and mixed milk. After performing ELISA test 18 samples with positive ELISA results were maintain per source for further analysis for aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Higher percentages of samples were found exceeding the permissible limit for urban area. In rural area about 15% samples and from urban area about 35% samples were exceeded the permissible limit of AFM1 with 0.05µg/kg set by European Union. From urban areas about 55% of buffalo, 33% of cows and 17% of mixed milk samples were exceeded the permissible AFM1 level as compared with 17%, 11% and 17% for milk samples from rural areas respectively. Samples from urban areas 33%, 44% and 28% were exceeded the permissible AFM1 level for farmer, milkman and of milk shop respectively as compared with 28% and 17% of farmer and milkman’s samples from rural areas respectively. The presence of AFM1 in milk samples demands the implementation of strict regulations and also urges the need for continuous monitoring of milk and milk products in order to minimize the health hazards. Regulations regarding aflatoxins contamination and adulteration should be strictly imposed to prevent health problems related to milk quality. Permissible limits for aflatoxin should be enforced strongly in Pakistan so that economic loss due to aflatoxin contamination can be reduced.

Keywords: Vehari, aflatoxins AFM1, milk, HPLC

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13 The Effect of Inulin on Aflatoxin M1 Binding Ability of Probiotic Bacteria in Yoghurt

Authors: Sumeyra Sevim, Gulsum Gizem Topal, Mercan Merve Tengilimoglu-Metin, Banu Sancak, Mevlude Kizil


Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) represents mutagenic, carcinogenic, hepatotoxic and immunosuppressive properties, and shows adverse effect on human health. Recently the use of probiotics are focused on AFM1 detoxification because of the fact that probiotic strains have a binding ability to AFM1. Moreover, inulin is a prebiotic to improve the ability of probiotic bacteria. Therefore, the aim of the study is to investigate the effect of inulin on AFM1 binding ability of some probiotic bacteria. Yoghurt samples were manufactured by using skim milk powder artificially contaminated with AFM1 at concentration 100 pg/ml. Different samples were prepared for the study as: first sample consists of yoghurt starter bacteria (L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus), the second sample consists of starter and L. plantarum, starter and B. bifidum ATCC were added to the third sample, starter and B. animalis ATCC 27672 were added to the forth sample, and the fifth sample is a binary culture consisted of starter and B. bifidum and B. animalis. Moreover, the same work groups were prepared with inulin (4%). The samples were incubated at 42°C for 4 hours, then stored for three different time interval (1,5 and 10 days). The toxin was measured by the ELISA. When inulin was added to work groups, there was significant change on AFM1 binding ability at least one sample in all groups except the one with L. plantarum (p<0.05). The highest levels of AFM1 binding ability (68.7%) in samples with inulin were found in the group which B. bifidum was added, whereas the lowest levels of AFM1 binding ability (44.4%) in samples with inulin was found in the fifth sample. The most impressive effect of inulin was found on B.bifidum. In this study, it was obtained that there was a significant effect of storage on AFM1 binding ability in the all groups with inulin except the one with L. plantarum (p<0.05). Consequently, results show that AFM1 detoxification by probiotics have a potential application to reduce toxin concentrations in yoghurt. Besides, inulin has different effects on AFM1 binding ability of each probiotic bacteria strain.

Keywords: aflatoxin M1, inulin, probiotics, storage

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12 Detection of Total Aflatoxin in Flour of Wheat and Maize Samples in Albania Using ELISA

Authors: Aferdita Dinaku, Jonida Canaj


Aflatoxins are potentially toxic metabolites produced by certain kinds of fungi (molds) that are found naturally all over the world; they can contaminate food crops and pose a serious health threat to humans by mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. Several types of aflatoxin (14 or more) occur in nature. In Albanian nutrition, cereals (especially wheat and corn) are common ingredients in some traditional meals. This study aimed to investigate the presence of aflatoxins in the flour of wheat and maize that are consumed in Albania’s markets. The samples were collected randomly in different markets in Albania and detected by the ELISA method, measured in 450 nm. The concentration of total aflatoxins was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and they were ranged between 0.05-1.09 ppb. However, the screened mycotoxin levels in the samples were lower than the maximum permissible limits of European Commission No 1881/2006 (4 μg/kg). The linearity of calibration curves was good for total aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2, M1) (R²=0.99) in the concentration range 0.005-4.05 ppb. The samples were analyzed in two replicated measurements and for each sample, the standard deviation (statistical parameter) is calculated. The results showed that the flour samples are safe, but the necessity of performing such tests is necessary.

Keywords: aflatoxins, ELISA technique, food contamination, flour

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11 Determination of Aflatoxins in Edible-Medicinal Plant Samples by HPLC with Fluorescence Detector and KOBRA-Cell

Authors: Isil Gazioglu, Abdulselam Ertas


Aflatoxins (AFs) are secondary toxic metabolites of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. AFs can be absorbed through the skin. Potent carcinogens like AFs should be completely absent from cosmetics, this can be achieved by careful quality control of the raw plant materials. Regulatory limits for aflatoxins have been established in many countries, and reliable testing methodology is needed to implement and enforce the regulatory limits. In this study, ten medicinal plant samples (Bundelia tournefortti, Capsella bursa-pastoris, Carduus tenuiflorus, Cardaria draba, Malva neglecta, Malvella sharardiana, Melissa officinalis, Sideritis libanotica, Stakys thirkei, Thymus nummularius) were investigated for aflatoxin (AF) contaminations by employing an HPLC assay for the determination of AFB1, B2, G1 and G2. The samples were extracted with 70% (v/v) methanol in water before further cleaned up with an immunoaffinity column and followed by the detection of AFs by using an electrochemically post-column derivatization with Kobra-Cell and fluorescence detector. The extraction procedure was optimized in order to obtain the best recovery. The method was successfully carried out with all medicinal plant samples. The results revealed that five (50%) of samples were contaminated with AFs. The association between particular samples and the AF contaminated could not be determined due to the low frequency of positive samples.

Keywords: aflatoxin B1, HPLC-FLD, KOBRA-Cell, mycotoxin

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10 Efficacy of Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and a Zeolite (Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicate) in the Amelioration of Aflatoxicosis in Broilers

Authors: Ryan Stevens, Wayne L. Bryden


This study focused on the effects of ginger and a zeolite (toxin binder) in reducing the toxic effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in broiler chickens 7 to 49 days of age. The chicks were maintained normally until experimental diets were introduced on day 7 post-hatching. Nine hundred and thirty six, 7-d-old broiler chickens were randomly assigned to 18 treatment groups; each group had four replicates, each with 13 chickens. The experimental groups or diets had factorial combinations of the following; AFB1 0, 1 and 2 mg/kg diet, ginger 0 and 5g/kg diet, and zeolite 0, 15 and 30 g/kg diet. Diets were based on corn and soybean meal and a starter diet was fed from 1 to 14 days, a grower diet from15 to 28 days and a finisher diet was provided from day 29 until the end of the experiment. Both dietary levels of AFB1 decreased (P<0.05) body weight and feed conversion, and increased relative liver weights. Independent dietary inclusion of ginger or zeolite restored chick performance when diets contained 1mg/kg but not at 2mg/kg. Supplementation of zeolite together with ginger improved performance of birds fed contaminated diets. Interestingly, adding ginger to the control diet that was not contaminated with AFB1 improved (P<0.05) performance. Our results suggest that toxin binders and ginger can provide protection against the negative effects of AFB1 on performance of broiler chicks.

Keywords: aflatoxin, broiler, ginger, zeolite

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9 Effects of Bacteria on Levels of AFM1 in Phosphate Buffer at Different Level of Energy Source

Authors: Ali M. Elgerbi, Obied A. Alwan, Al-Taher O. Alzwei, Abdurrahim A. Elouzi


The binding of AFM1 to bacteria in phosphate buffer solution depended on many factors such as: availability of energy, incubation period, species and strain of bacteria. Increase in concentration of sugar showed higher removal of AFM1 and faster than in phosphate buffer alone. With 1.0% glucose lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria showed toxin removal ranging from 7.7 to 39.7% whereas with 10.0% glucose the percentage removal was 21.8 to 45.4% at 96 hours of incubation.

Keywords: aflatoxin M1, lactic acid bacteria, bifidobacteria , binding, phosphate buffer

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8 Aflatoxins Characterization in Remedial Plant-Delphinium denudatum by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography–Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Authors: Nadeem A. Siddique, Mohd Mujeeb, Kahkashan


Introduction: The objective of the projected work is to study the occurrence of the aflatoxins B1, B2, G1and G2 in remedial plants, exclusively in Delphinium denudatum. The aflatoxins were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization (HPLC–MS/MS) and immunoaffinity column chromatography were used for extraction and purification of aflatoxins. PDA media was selected for fungal count. Results: A good quality linear relationship was originated for AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2 at 1–10 ppb (r > 0.9995). The analyte precision at three different spiking levels was 88.7–109.1 %, by means of low per cent relative standard deviations in each case. Within 5 to7 min aflatoxins can be separated using an Agilent XDB C18-column. We found that AFB1 and AFB2 were not found in D. denudatum. This was reliable through exceptionally low figures of fungal colonies observed after 6 hr of incubation. The developed analytical method is straightforward, be successfully used to determine the aflatoxins. Conclusion: The developed analytical method is straightforward, simple, accurate, economical and can be successfully used to find out the aflatoxins in remedial plants and consequently to have power over the quality of products. The presence of aflatoxin in the plant extracts was interrelated to the least fungal load in the remedial plants examined.

Keywords: aflatoxins, delphinium denudatum, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry

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7 Nematicidal Activity of the Cell Extract from Penicillium Sp EU0013 and Its Metabolite Profile Using High Performance Liquid Chromatograpy

Authors: Zafar Iqbal, Sana Irshad Khan


Organic extract from newly isolated plant growth promoting fungus (PGPF) Penicillium sp EU0013 was subjected to bioassays including anti fungal (disc diffusion) cytotoxicity (brine shrimp lethality), herbicidal (Lemna minor) and nematicidal activities. Metabolite profile of the extract was also assessed using HPLC analysis with the aim to identify bioactive natural products in the extract as new drug candidate(s). The extract showed anti fungal potential against tested fungal pathogens. Growth of the Wilt pathogen Fusarium oxyosproum was inhibited up to 63% when compared to negative reference. Activity against brine shrimps was weak and mortality up to 10% was observed at concentration of 200 µg. mL-1. The extract exhibited no toxicity against Lemna minor frond at 200 µg. mL-1. Nematicidal activity was observed very potent against root knot nematode and LC50 value was calculated as 52.5 ug. mL-1 using probit analysis. Methodically assessment of metabolites profile by HPLC showed the presence of kojic acid (Rt 1.4 min) and aflatoxin B1 (Rt 5.9 min) in the mycellial extract as compared with standards. The major unidentified metabolite was eluted at Rt 8.6 along with other minor peaks. The observed high toxicity against root knot nematode was attributed to the unidentified compounds that make fungal extract worthy of further exploration for isolation and structural characterization studies for development of future commercial nematicidal compound(s).

Keywords: penicillium, nematicidal activity, metabolites, HPLC

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6 Protective Effects of Urtica dioica Seed Extract in Aflatoxicosis: Histopathological and Biochemical Findings

Authors: Ahmet Uyar, Zabit Yener, Abdulahad Dogan


(1). The ameliorative potential and antioxidant capacity of an extract of Urtica dioica seeds (UDS) were investigated using histopathological changes in liver and kidney of broiler, measuring serum marker enzymes, antioxidant defence systems and lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde (MDA)) content in various tissues of broilers exposed to aflatoxin (AF). (2). A total of 32 broilers were divided randomly into 4 groups: control, UDS extract-treated, AF-treated and AF+UDS extract-treated. Broilers in control and UDS extract-treated groups were fed on a diet without AF. The AF-treated group and AF+UDS extract-treated groups were treated with an estimated 1 mg total AF/kg feed. The AF+UDS extract groups received in addition 30 ml UDS extract/kg diet for 21 days. (3). The AF-treated group had significantly decreased body weight gain when compared to the other groups. (4). Biochemical analysis showed a small increase in the concentrations of serum aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase and lactate dehydrogenase in the AF-treated group compared to that of the control group, whereas concentrations of these enzymes were decreased in the AF+UDS group compared to that of the AF-treated group. (5). Administration of supplementary UDS extract helped restore the AF-induced increase in MDA and reduced the antioxidant system towards normality, particularly in the liver, brain, kidney and heart. Hepatorenal protection by UDS extracts was further supported by the almost normal histology in AF +UDS extract-treated group as compared to the degenerative changes in the AF-treated broilers. (6). It was concluded that UDS extract has a protective hepatorenal effect in broilers affected by aflatoxicosis, probably acting by promoting the antioxidative defence systems.

Keywords: aflatoxicosis, biochemistry, broiler, histopathology, Urtica dioica seed extract

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5 Histopathological and Biochemical Investigations of Protective Role of Honey in Rats with Experimental Aflatoxicosis

Authors: Turan Yaman, Zabit Yener, Ismail Celik


The aim of this study was to investigate the antioxidant properties and protective role of honey, considered a part of traditional medicine, against carcinogen chemical aflatoxin (AF) exposure in rats, which were evaluated by histopathological changes in liver and kidney, measuring level of serum marker enzymes [aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanin aminotransferase (ALT), gamma glutamil transpeptidase (GGT)], antioxidant defense systems [Reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione reductase (GR), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and catalase (CAT)], and lipid peroxidation content in liver, erythrocyte, brain, kidney, heart and lungs. For this purpose, a total of eighteen healthy Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly allocated into three experimental groups: A (Control), B (AF-treated) and C (AF+honey-treated). While rats in group A were fed with a diet without AF, B, and C groups received 25 µg of AF/rat/day, where C group additionally received 1 mL/kg of honey by gavage for 90 days. At the end of the 90-day experimental period, we found that the honey supplementation decreased the lipid peroxidation and the levels of enzyme associated with liver damage, increased enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants in the AF+honey-treated rats. Hepatoprotective and nephroprotective effects of honey is further substantiated by showing almost normal histological architecture in AF+honey-treated group, compared to degenerative changes in the liver and kidney of AF-treated rats. Additionally, honey supplementation ameliorated antioxidant defense systems and lipid peroxidation content in other tissues of AF+honey-treated rats. In conclusion, the present study indicates that honey has a hepatoprotective and nephroprotective effect in rats with experimental aflatoxicosis due to its antioxidant activity.

Keywords: aflatoxicosis, honey, histopathology, malondialdehyde, antioxidant, rat

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4 Assessment of Pull Mechanism at Enhancing Maize Farmers’ Utilisation of Aflasafe Bio-Control Measures in Oyo State, Nigeria

Authors: Jonathan A. Akinwale, Ibukun J. Agotola


There is a need to rethink how technology is being disseminated to end users in order to ensure wide adoption and utilisation. Aflasafe bio-control was developed to combat aflatoxin in maize to ensure food safety for the end users. This study was designed to assess how the pull mechanism is enhancing the utilisation of this proven technology among maize farmers in Oyo State, Nigeria. The study determines the awareness of farmers on Aflasafe, sources of purchase of Aflasafe, incentives towards the usage of Aflasafe, constraints to farmers’ utilisation and factors influencing farmers’ utilisation of Aflasafe bio-control measures. Respondents were selected using a multi-stage sampling procedure. Data were collected from respondents through interview schedule and analyzed using descriptive statistics (means, frequencies, and percentages) and inferential statistics (Pearson Product Moment Correlation and regression analysis). The result showed that 89% of the farmers indicated implementers as the outlet for the purchase of Aflasafe. Also, premium payment and provision of technical assistance were the highly ranked incentives to the utilisation of Aflasafe among the farmers. The study also revealed that the major constraints face by respondents were low access to credit facility, inadequate sources of purchase, and lack of storage facilities. A little above half (54%) of the farmers were found to have fully utilized Aflasafe in maize production. Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) analysis revealed that there was a significant correlation between incentives and utilisation of Aflasafe (r-value=0.274; p ≤ 0.01). The result of the regression analysis indicated maize production experience (β=0.572), output (β=0.531), years of formal education (β=0.404) and household size (β=0.391) as the leading factors influencing farmers utilisation of Aflasafe bio-control in maize production. The study, therefore, recommends that governments and non-governmental organisations should be interested in making Aflasafe available to the maize farmers either through loan provision or price subsidy.

Keywords: Aflasafe bio-control, maize production, production incentives, pull mechanism, utilisation

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3 The Impact of Mycotoxins on the Anaerobic Digestion Process

Authors: Harald Lindorfer, Bettina Frauz, Dietmar Ramhold


Next to the well-known inhibitors in anaerobic digestion like ammonia, antibiotics or disinfectants, the number of process failures connected with mould growth in the feedstock increased significantly in the last years. It was assumed that mycotoxins are the cause of the negative effects. The financial damage to plants associated with these process failures is considerable. The aim of this study was to find a way of predicting the failures and furthermore strategies for a fast process recovery. In a first step, mould-contaminated feedstocks causing process failures in full-scale digesters were sampled and analysed on mycotoxin content. A selection of these samples was applied to biological inhibition tests. In this test, crystalline cellulose is applied in addition to the feedstock sample as standard substrate. Affected digesters were also sampled and analytical process data as well as operational data of the plants were recorded. Additionally, different mycotoxin substances, Deoxynivalenol, Zearalenon, Aflatoxin B1, Mycophenolic acid and Citrinin, were applied as pure substances to lab-scale digesters, individually and in various combinations, and effects were monitored. As expected, various mycotoxins were detected in all of the mould-contaminated samples. Nevertheless, inhibition effects were observed with only one of the collected samples, after applying it to an inhibition test. With this sample, the biogas yield of the standard substrate was reduced by approx. 20%. This result corresponds with observations made on full-scale plants. However, none of the tested mycotoxins applied as pure substance caused a negative effect on biogas production in lab scale digesters, neither after application as individual substance nor in combination. The recording of the process data in full-scale plants affected by process failures in most cases showed a severe accumulation of fatty acids alongside a decrease in biogas production and methane concentration. In the analytical data of the digester samples, a typical distribution of fatty acids with exceptionally high acetic acid concentrations could be identified. This typical fatty acid pattern can be used as a rapid identification parameter pointing to the cause of the process troubles and enable a fast implication of countermeasures. The results of the study show that more attention needs to be paid to feedstock storage and feedstock conservation before their application to anaerobic digesters. This is all the more important since first studies indicate that the occurrence of mycotoxins will likely increase in Europe due to the ongoing climate change.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Feedstock conservation, Fungal mycotoxins, Inhibition, process failure

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2 Immunoprotective Role of Baker's Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) against Experimentally Induced Aflatoxicosis in Broiler Chicks

Authors: Zain Ul Abadeen, Muhammad Zargham Khan, Muhammad Kashif Saleemi, Ahrar Khan, Ijaz Javed Hassan, Aisha Khatoon, Qasim Altaf


Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites produced by toxigenic fungi, and there are four types of aflatoxins include AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is considered as most toxic form. It is mainly responsible for the contamination of poultry feed and produces a condition called aflatoxicosis leads to immunosuppression in poultry birds. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a single cell microorganism and acts as a source of growth factors, minerals and amino acids which improve the immunity and digestibility in poultry birds as probiotics. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is well recognized to cause the biological degradation of mycotoxins (toxin binder) because its cell wall contains β-glucans and mannans which specifically bind with aflatoxins and reduce their absorption or transfer them to some non-toxic compounds. The present study was designed to investigate the immunosuppressive effects of aflatoxins in broiler chicks and the reduction of severity of these effects by the use of Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). One-day-old broiler chicks were procured from local hatchery and were divided into various groups (A-I). These groups were treated with different levels of AFB1 @ 400 µg/kg and 600 µg/kg along with different levels of Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) 0.1% and 0.5 % in the feed. The total duration of the experiment was six weeks and different immunological parameters including the cellular immune response by injecting PHA-P (Phytohemagglutinin-P) in the skin of the birds, phagocytic function of mononuclear cells by Carbon clearance assay from blood samples and humoral immune response against intravenously injected sheep RBCs from the serum samples were determined. The birds from each group were slaughtered at the end of the experiment to determine the presence of gross lesions in the immune organs and these tissues were fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin for histological investigations. The results showed that AFB1 intoxicated groups had reduced body weight gain, feed intake, organs weight and immunological responses compared to the control and Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) treated groups. Different gross and histological degenerative changes were recorded in the immune organs of AFB1 intoxicated groups compared to control and Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) treated groups. The present study concluded that Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) addition in the feed helps to ameliorate the immunotoxigenic effects produced by AFB1 in broiler chicks.

Keywords: aflatoxins, body weight gain, feed intake, immunological response, toxigenic effect

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1 LaeA/1-Velvet Interplay in Aspergillus and Trichoderma: Regulation of Secondary Metabolites and Cellulases

Authors: Razieh Karimi Aghcheh, Christian Kubicek, Joseph Strauss, Gerhard Braus


Filamentous fungi are of considerable economic and social significance for human health, nutrition and in white biotechnology. These organisms are dominant producers of a range of primary metabolites such as citric acid, microbial lipids (biodiesel) and higher unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs). In particular, they produce also important but structurally complex secondary metabolites with enormous therapeutic applications in pharmaceutical industry, for example: cephalosporin, penicillin, taxol, zeranol and ergot alkaloids. Several fungal secondary metabolites, which are significantly relevant to human health do not only include antibiotics, but also e.g. lovastatin, a well-known antihypercholesterolemic agent produced by Aspergillus. terreus, or aflatoxin, a carcinogen produced by A. flavus. In addition to their roles for human health and agriculture, some fungi are industrially and commercially important: Species of the ascomycete genus Hypocrea spp. (teleomorph of Trichoderma) have been demonstrated as efficient producer of highly active cellulolytic enzymes. This trait makes them effective in disrupting and depolymerization of lignocellulosic materials and thus applicable tools in number of biotechnological areas as diverse as clothes-washing detergent, animal feed, and pulp and fuel productions. Fungal LaeA/LAE1 (Loss of aflR Expression A) homologs their gene products act at the interphase between secondary metabolisms, cellulase production and development. Lack of the corresponding genes results in significant physiological changes including loss of secondary metabolite and lignocellulose degrading enzymes production. At the molecular level, the encoded proteins are presumably methyltransferases or demethylases which act directly or indirectly at heterochromatin and interact with velvet domain proteins. Velvet proteins bind to DNA and affect expression of secondary metabolites (SMs) genes and cellulases. The dynamic interplay between LaeA/LAE1, velvet proteins and additional interaction partners is the key for an understanding of the coordination of metabolic and morphological functions of fungi and is required for a biotechnological control of the formation of desired bioactive products. Aspergilli and Trichoderma represent different biotechnologically significant species with significant differences in the LaeA/LAE1-Velvet protein machinery and their target proteins. We, therefore, performed a comparative study of the interaction partners of this machinery and the dynamics of the various protein-protein interactions using our robust proteomic and mass spectrometry techniques. This enhances our knowledge about the fungal coordination of secondary metabolism, cellulase production and development and thereby will certainly improve recombinant fungal strain construction for the production of industrial secondary metabolite or lignocellulose hydrolytic enzymes.

Keywords: cellulases, LaeA/1, proteomics, secondary metabolites

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