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The aflatoxin occurrence of food commodities in Sri Lanka: an overview of prevalence, detection and decontamination techniques

Authors:

P. L. N. Lakshman ,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About P. L. N.
Department of Food Science & Technology, Faculty of Agriculture
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D. M. N. Dilrukshi,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About D. M. N.
Department of Biosystems Technology, Faculty of Technology
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B. E. A. U. Bulathgama

University of Ruhuna, LK
About B. E. A. U.
Department of Biosystems Technology, Faculty of Technology
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Abstract

Aflatoxins has been a topic of discussion in Sri Lanka over the recent past, due to many reported cases of aflatoxin prevalence in several food commodities. Most food spoilage and deterioration are attributed to fungal and mold attacks, whereas aflatoxins are a secondary metabolite produced by the fungal genus Aspergillus that dominates the food supply chain. Primarily four types of Aflatoxins; AFB1, AFG1, AFB2, and AFG2 were reported in food contamination and two types; AFM1 and AFM2 were reported to contaminate feedstuff and thereby present in milk and dairy products. Aflatoxins were given focused attention of this caliber due to their extreme toxicity which causes several diseases including aflatoxicosis in humans, livestock and domestic animals globally. The occurrence of these aflatoxins and a few outbreaks were reported in several food types worldwide including Vegetable oils, Nuts and Seeds, Cereals and Dairy products. In Sri Lanka, such occurrences have been reported since the early 1980s, to date. Considering the severity of toxicity, there have been several legislations and regulations introduced both locally and internationally. The Codex Alimentarius, FDA, and EU Legislation are some international regulatory bodies, while Sri Lanka has the regulations defined by the SLSI. According to the studies conducted in recent years, the reported occurrences of Aflatoxins in food and feedstuff were significantly reduced to the previous studies which could result from proper housekeeping practices, proper storage and adopting proper decontamination techniques. However, controlling and decontamination of the aflatoxins in food is a necessity to stay within the regulated maximum permissible levels by the regulatory bodies. Controlling Aflatoxin contamination may be either pre-harvest, which involves good agricultural practices, fungicide application, pest control and novel biocontrol techniques such as introducing nontoxigenic aspergillus strains to the crop produce for competing with toxigenic strains, or Post-harvest such as physical, chemical and biological decontamination methods.
How to Cite: Lakshman, P.L.N., Dilrukshi, D.M.N. and Bulathgama, B.E.A.U., 2022. The aflatoxin occurrence of food commodities in Sri Lanka: an overview of prevalence, detection and decontamination techniques. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension, 25(3), pp.200–222. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v25i3.5616
Published on 04 Oct 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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