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Monotonous Cereal-based Complementary Feeding Contribute to Aflatoxin Exposure in Children

Research Paper | June 1, 2021

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Rufina Fredrick, Haikael Martin, Sieg Snapp, Neema Kassim

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Int. J. Biosci.18( 6), 204-216, June 2021

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/18.6.204-216


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This study assessed the diversity of food used in complementary feeding, their risk to aflatoxins (AF) contamination and subsequent children’s exposure. A total of 290 children aged between 6-24 months from ten villages in Singida District, Tanzania was studied. Their mothers were interviewed on infant feeding practices and handling of food crops using a structured questionnaire, weight of index child was taken and up to 3 cereals-based food samples used in complementary feeding were collected in a subsample of 180 households to make a total of 218 samples. Food samples were analyzed for aflatoxins using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The results indicated that the majority of children were monotonously feeding on thin and thick porridge made from maize (78.3%), sorghum (12.7%) or millet (9.0%) flour, and sometimes sorghum-based fermented drink (14.5) locally known as Magai. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) was detected in 80 (36.7%) flour and drink samples with the levels ranging from 0.33 to 23.75 µg/kg whereas, total aflatoxins were detected in 185 (84.9%) samples with the range from 0.47 to 289.28 µg/kg. Magai drink and maize flour were the leading complementary food materials responsible for the high aflatoxin exposure to AFB1 in children with the mean exposure of 133.3 and 111.7 ng/kg body weight per day respectively. These findings highlighted a need for integrated nutrition interventions to the entire population with the inclusion of strategies for improving dietary diversity and mitigating mycotoxins contamination of staple food crops thereby reducing exposure among infants and the general population.


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Monotonous Cereal-based Complementary Feeding Contribute to Aflatoxin Exposure in Children

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