Research – Aflatoxins in cereals: State of the art

Wiley Online

Abstract

Recently, the contamination of food products, particularity cereals with aflatoxins (AF) as secondary metabolites generated by some of fungal genera species raised serious concerns. AF as the highly toxic compounds could pass through metabolic processes in unaltered forms and consequently accumulate in the tissues of humans and animals. The consumption of AF contaminated cereal, cereal‐based products as both food and feed is considered as a serious issue, which should be controlled through conducting prevention strategies and legislation. However, in some cases, the detoxification or elimination process also can be approached. The current article took an overview regarding physicochemical properties of AF, as well as their absorption, digestion, metabolism, and excretion in cereals. Also, the chronic and acute aflatoxicosis along prevention strategies and control mechanisms were discussed.

Practical applications

Cereal and cereal‐based products can be considered as one of the most important sources of food as well as energy in many countries. Despite this, cereals and cereal‐based foods may present contamination by several mycotoxins, as one of the challenging issues in cereal‐based products. The adverse effects of contamination by mycotoxins on food safety and food quality are reserved huge concerns. The knowledge regarding the physicochemical properties of aflatoxins as well as their control can aid the food industry to keep the quality of food products in an acceptable level.

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