PROPERTIES OF AFLATOXIN AND IT PRODUCING FUNGI
Reddy,S.V. and Farid Waliyar
Many agricultural commodities are vulnerable to attack by a group of fungi that are able to produce toxic metabolites called mycotoxins. Among various mycotoxins, aflatoxins have assumed significance due to their deleterious effects on human beings, poultry and livestock. The aflatoxin problem was first recognized in 1960, when there was severe outbreak of a disease referred as "Turkey 'X' Disease" in UK, in which over 100,000 turkey poults were died. The cause of the disease was shown due to toxins in peanut meal infected with Aspergillus flavus and the toxins were named as aflatoxins.
Food products contaminated with aflatoxins include cereal (maize, sorghum, pearl millet, rice, wheat), oilseeds (groundnut, soybean, sunflower, cotton), spices (chillies, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, zinger), tree nuts (almonds, pistachio, walnuts, coconut) and milk.