Int. J. Biosci.15(6), 218-229, December 2019
Aflatoxin is one of the highly toxic metabolite produced by different species of fungi, growing in susceptible agricultural commodities. These fungi infect many crops, food items dry fruits, milk and milk made products which poses enormous economic losses and health problems worldwide. Aflatoxins are mycotoxins generated by two species of Aspergillus, a fungus found, especially hot and humid climates. Among known aflatoxins only six of these AFB1, AFB2, AFG1, AFG2, AFM1, and AFM2 are usually found in staple foods. The most toxic among all types is aflatoxin B1, produced by both A. flavus and A. parasiticus. Many studies around the world have been conducted to develop methods for AFs detection and quantifications, and to assess the potential health risks of food contamination with AFs in order to reduce the health, environmental and economic burdens. AFs occurrence, toxicology, chemistry, health and environmental hazards as well as its economic burdens, their exposure control and management have been briefly discussed in this article. The available literature proved that local climatic and weather conditions in Jeddah supports the fungal growth, which may infect crops, food items, and milk products ultimately posing enormous economic losses and health problems. So there is big vulnerability of susceptible foods commodities contamination from AFs in the local markets in KSA. Although there are many studies that prove the presence of AFs in food commodities in KSA, yet there is no study to assess the potential risks of dietary exposure of AFs.As aflatoxins are known to be potential carcinogens, so their exposure via food and or feed need to be strictly regulated and controlled which otherwise may result in severe health, environmental and economic risks.
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