Aflatoxin Timeline

Aflatoxins are carcinogenic. FAO has declared that 25% of all crops in the world are affected by aflatoxins. Countries in Africa have lost their export markets as a result. It affects the absorption of other nutrients thereby causing malnutrition.

More about aflatoxin

What is Aflatoxin?
  • Aflatoxin was discovered in the 1960s. Regulatory limits were enforced in 1980.
  • Aflatoxin is a poisonous substance produced by mould fungi (Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus) that can grow on poorly managed agricultural crops, particularly groundnuts.
  • If eaten in sufficient quantities, aflatoxin can cause serious sicknesses that can lead to liver and several other cancers.
  • Groundnuts for sale and export should be free from aflatoxin.
  • Therefore appropriate crop management is essential at pre- and post-harvest times.

Effects of aflatoxin

  • Aflatoxin is carcinogenic and can cause liver and other cancers in humans.
  • It increases incidents of hepatitis viruses B and C.
  • It lowers the body’s normal immune response to invasion by foreign substances.
  • It impairs growth in children, notably in Africa, and causes childhood cirrhosis in India.
  • In poultry and livestock, aflatoxin can cause feed refusal, loss of weight, reduced egg production, and contamination of milk.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has declared that 25% of all crops in the world are affected by aflatoxins. Predominantly, these toxins affect

  • cereals and millets (maize, sorghum, pearl millet, rice, wheat)
  • oilseeds (groundnut, soybean, rapeseed, sunflower, cotton)
  • spices (chilies, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, ginger)
  • tree nuts (almond, pistachio, walnut, cashew nut, hazelnut, Brazil nut, tiger nut, coconut)
  • pulses (pigeonpea, horse gram, green gram, mung bean, lentil, cowpea, haricot bean)
  • figs, meats, dairy products and fruit juices (apple, guava)

The Center for Disease Control has estimated that more than 4.5 billion people in developing countries are chronically exposed to aflatoxins in their diets.

Together with its donors and partners, ICRISAT has made contributions and scientific achievements towards finding solutions to aflatoxin contamination in Asia
and sub-Saharan Africa. Read on…

Aflatoxin Timeline  pdf-icon 

Timeline
Timeline
1970

1970s

ICRISAT starts aflatoxin research

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1980

1980s

Breeding lines with partial resistance developed

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1987

1987-2007

Addressing regional priorities in West and Central Africa

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2000

2000s

Strategic plan for aflatoxin research developed

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cELISA Aflatoxin detection kit developed in-house

afla-kit

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Indian private poultry feed company uses ELISA technique, annual turnover jumps to $4 million

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Advanced immunological ELISA technique developed at ICRISAT benefits Malawi groundnut exports to UK

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Meeting on strategies to reduce aflatoxin in foods and feeds

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Government of Andhra Pradesh funds setting up Aflatoxin testing laboratory

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ICRISAT helps set up aflatoxin monitoring laboratories in India, Mozambique, Kenya, Mali and Malawi

2001

2001-2005

Ghana studies confirm Aflatoxin’s role in suppressing immunity

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2003

2003-2005

70-84% dip in aflatoxin contamination in groundnut from on-farm management practices in Mali

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2003-2007

Developed sustainable seed systems in Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal

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2005

2005-2006

6 advanced breeding lines with low aflatoxin risk identified

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2006

2006-2009

Research highlights the scarcity of historical data on aflatoxin

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2006-2010

Improving groundnut varieties for yield and adaptation, health and nutrition in Malawi and Tanzania

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2006-2011

Aflatoxin biomarker detection kit (ELISA) invented and produced to detect aflatoxin-albumin from human serum

Aflatoxin-biomarker

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2007

2007

International training course on aflatoxin management

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2007-2009

Assessing pre- and post-harvest contamination in groundnuts

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2008

2008-2011

Introgression lines developed show poor resistance against aflatoxin contamination

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2008-2013

7 groundnut accessions identified as potential sources to understand resistant mechanism

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2009

2009-2011

Mali: High aflatoxin contamination in groundnut growing areas and value chains

1375084261_grundnut2

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2010

2010-2014

Improving groundnut varieties

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2012

2012-2014

Innovative communications to build awareness of aflatoxins in Malawi and Tanzania

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2012-2015

Mitigation of aflatoxin in groundnuts in Zambia

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Tracking A.flavus toxigenic strain AF 11- 4 in groundnut crop soils using SCAR marker-based PCR diagnostic assay

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2013

2013-2014

Women in Mali trained to make nutritious and healthy equinut

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Rebuilding Nigeria’s groundnut pyramids

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CAAS-ICRISAT joint laboratory for aflatoxin management

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2013-2015

Good Agricultural Practices in Anantapur district reduce aflatoxin in groundnut; raise yields and fetch additional net incomes

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2013-2017

Genomics interventions to reduce pre-harvest aflatoxin in groundnut in India, Niger and Senegal More..

Aflatoxin mitigation for nutrition, safety and market competitiveness in Tanzania More..

2014

2014

Nigerian NARS trained in aflatoxin

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2014-2017

Determining the aflatoxigenic Aspergillus species in African countries

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Addressing aflatoxin management within the peanut value chain in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia

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2014-2018

New varieties and management systems to improve productivity, food security and safety and market competitiveness

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2015

2015-2018

Increasing groundnut productivity of smallholder farmers in Ghana, Mali and Nigeria

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2016

2016

Aflatoxin detection laboratories set up at 2 NARS centers in Nigeria

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First portable low-cost device developed for rapid detection of aflatoxins

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Nutrition studies reveal aflatoxin effect on nutrient absorption in children

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2016 – 2017

Evaluating aflatoxin contamination in the soils of Malawi

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Training manual on reducing aflatoxin in groundnuts and maize produced

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Training on aflatoxin mitigation practices conducted

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2016 – 2019

Aflatoxin control in farmers’ fields, post-harvest handling, and off-farm value chain

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Genomics project on groundnut aflatoxin research launched

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Key publications

The association between exposure to aflatoxin, mutation in TP53, infection with hepatitis B virus, and occurrence of liver disease in a selected population in Hyderabad, India

Although drought intensity increases aflatoxin contamination, drought tolerance does not lead to less aflatoxin contamination

Effect of storage conditions on quality and aflatoxin contamination of peanuts (Arachis hypogaea L.). 

More publications

Aflatoxin contamination of food commodities and their management.

Prevalence and potential for aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts and peanut butter from farmers and traders in Nairobi and Nyanza provinces of Kenya.

Occurrence of Aspergillus species and aflatoxin contamination in raw and roasted peanuts from formal and informal markets in Eldoret and Kericho towns, Kenya.

Peanut contamination by Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin B1 in granaries of villages and markets of Mali, West Africa.

Reducing aflatoxins in groundnuts through integrated management and biocontrol.

ELISA: An inexpensive and highly precise tool for estimation of aflatoxins.

Assessing occurrence and distribution of aflatoxins in Malawi.

Incidence of aflatoxin in peanuts (Arachis hypogaea Linnaeus) from markets in Western, Nyanza and Nairobi Provinces of Kenya and related market traits.

Occurrence and distribution of aflatoxin contamination in groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L) and population density of Aflatoxigenic Aspergilli.

Importance of mycotoxins in food and feed in India.

Effect of irrigation interval, planting date, and cultivar on Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin contamination of peanut in a sandy soil of Niger.

Aflatoxin B1 contamination of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) in eastern Zambia.

Resistance to preharvest aflatoxin in ICRISATs minicore collection.

Understanding and managing aflatoxin contamination in the groundnut value chain in Nigeria.

Uncommon occurrence ratios of aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, and G2 in maize and groundnuts from
Malawi
.

A Case for Regular Aflatoxin Monitoring in Peanut Butter in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from a 3-Year Survey in Zambia.

Knowledge, attitude, and practices concerning presence of molds
in foods among members of the general public in Malawi
.

Aflatoxins: Finding solutions for improved food safety.

 

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