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Poisoning by Ergoty Bajra (pearl millet) in man

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Abstract

An outbreak of poisoning in man, attributable to consumption of ergoty bajra in cetain parts of India was investigated The disease was characterised by nausea, vomiting, giddiness and somnolence. The mycotoxins appear to be alkaloids of the clavine group. Toxicity due to ergoty bajra could be distinguished from the classical European ergotism based on differences in host, species of the fungus, chemical nature of alkaloids, biological effect in animals and clinical symptoms in man. The daily non toxic quantum of alkaloid appears to be around 28 μg/kg. body weight.

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... Individual alkaloids isolated from pearl millet samples contaminated with ergot from C. fusiformis were identified as agroclavine, elymoclavine, chanoclavine, penniclavine, and setoclavine ( Krishnamachari and Bhat, 1976). A strain of Claviceps fusiformis also was shown to produce clavine alkaloids (principally agroclavine) when grown submerged in a sucrose-ammonium sulphate-inorganic salts medium ( Banks et al., 1974). ...
... Intoxication following ingestion of ergot from C. fusiformis in bajra (pearl millet, Pennisetum typhoides) has been reported from India ( Krishnamachari and Bhat, 1976;Tulpule and Bhat, 1978;WHO-IPCS, 1990). Several outbreaks have been observed since 1958, when the first report was published; the latest occurred in the autumn of 1975 in the state of Rajasthan. ...
... Several outbreaks have been observed since 1958, when the first report was published; the latest occurred in the autumn of 1975 in the state of Rajasthan. 78 persons belonging to 14 households developed symptoms, characterised by nausea, repeated vomiting, and giddiness, followed by drowsiness and prolonged sleepiness, extending sometimes to over 24-48 hours ( Krishnamachari and Bhat, 1976). There were no signs or symptoms of vaso-occlusion. ...
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Article
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was asked by the European Commission to deliver a scientific opinion on ergot alkaloids (EAs) in food and feed. EAs are produced by several members within the fungal orders of Hypocreales and Eurotiales. In Europe, Claviceps purpurea is the most widespread Claviceps species within the Hypocreales. A total of 20 558 analytical results for EAs in 1 716 food, 496 feed and 67 unprocessed grain samples were considered in this opinion. Based on the EAs identified in sclerotia of C. purpurea, and recent literature data, the EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM Panel) based its risk assessment on the main C. purpurea EAs, namely ergometrine, ergotamine, ergosine, ergocristine, ergocryptine (which is a mixture of α-and β-isomers), ergocornine, and the corresponding –inine epimers. The CONTAM Panel performed estimates of both chronic and acute exposure for various age groups across European countries. A BMDL 10 of 0.33 mg/kg b.w. per day was calculated for the incidence of tail muscular atrophy in a 13-week rat feeding study of ergotamine. This effect was considered representative of the vasoconstrictive effects of EAs and provided a suitable reference point for establishment of a group acute reference dose of 1 μg/kg body weight (b.w.) and a group tolerable daily intake of 0.6 μg/kg b.w. per day. The Panel concluded that whilst the available data do not indicate a concern for any population subgroup, the dietary exposure estimates relate to a limited number of food groups and a possible unknown contribution from other foods cannot be discounted. Estimates of exposure for livestock based on example diets and levels of EAs in cereal grains reported suggest that under normal conditions the risk of toxicosis is low.
... The rye did not undergo any screening or cleaning procedures before entering the mill (Morgan, 1929). Most of the infected group was comprised of Jewish immigrants from central Europe who purchased most of the (Hudler, 1998;Krishnamachari and Bhat, 1976;Lee, 2009;Lorenz, 1979;Patel et al., 1958;Tulpule and Bhat, 1978;Van Dongen and de Groot, 1995 contaminated rye (Kent and Evers, 1994). The Medical Officer of Health and Public Analyst for Manchester had the rye meal tested, and the results showed that the ergot concentration was at a toxic level of 0.90%. ...
... Despite knowledge of how to separate infected grain, another outbreak of C. fusiformis on bajra occurred in 1975 in western India (Krishnamachari and Bhat, 1976). This outbreak affected 78 individuals in 14 households, all of whom had reportedly consumed the same bajra. ...
... This outbreak affected 78 individuals in 14 households, all of whom had reportedly consumed the same bajra. Those infected manifested symptoms within 24-48 h (Krishnamachari and Bhat, 1976). However, the relatively short latent period allowed the villagers to quickly determine the cause of the disease and dispose of the contaminated grain (Tulpule and Bhat, 1978). ...
Article
Ergotism in humans and cattle are caused by several species of Claviceps that infect rye and other cereal grains. Symptoms in humans vary greatly and are generally classified as convulsive, gangrenous, or gastrointestinal (enteric). Cattle are particularly susceptible to both gangrenous and hyperthermic ergotism (also called summer syndrome). The prevalence of ergotism has decreased as knowledge of the fungus has increased, mainly through implementation of regulations and advances in milling procedures. However, outbreaks in humans have recently occurred in lower socioeconomic populations of Ethiopia (1977 and 2001) and India (1975) with devastating results. Prominent outbreaks in cattle have occurred in Australia (1987), the United States (1996), South Africa (1996-1997), and Brazil (1999) and, as opposed to human cases, they do not appear to be bound by economic development. This review provides a detailed summary of all major ergot epidemics since 1900 in both humans and cattle. Special attention is devoted to the ergotism symptoms and to the regulations surrounding the control of ergot in the food supply.
... Today, ergot is one of the principal factors preventing the realization of the high grain yield potential of bajra hybrids in Africa and Asia. In addition, it reduce the quality of the grain in an infected crop by contaminating it with the alkaloid containing sclerotia of ergot (Krishnamachari and Bhat, 1976) [6,4] . Ergot, caused by C. fusiformis loveless, was a minor disease of pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke) in India until the early 1970s when it became a serious problem in crops of the recently developed and adopted commercial F1 hybrids (Arya and Kumar, 1976, Ramkrishnan, 1971and Thakur and Williams, 1980 [1,14,10] . ...
... Today, ergot is one of the principal factors preventing the realization of the high grain yield potential of bajra hybrids in Africa and Asia. In addition, it reduce the quality of the grain in an infected crop by contaminating it with the alkaloid containing sclerotia of ergot (Krishnamachari and Bhat, 1976) [6,4] . Ergot, caused by C. fusiformis loveless, was a minor disease of pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke) in India until the early 1970s when it became a serious problem in crops of the recently developed and adopted commercial F1 hybrids (Arya and Kumar, 1976, Ramkrishnan, 1971and Thakur and Williams, 1980 [1,14,10] . ...
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Article
The present investigation on, "sclerotial status of pearl millet seed samples in Kharif 2019 in Rajasthan". Sclerotia are dormant stage of Claviceps fusiformis which caused ergot of pearl millet pearl. The study was carried out to observed sclerotia of pathogen and find out the sclerotia per cent in collected samples. The maximum mean sclerotia per cent (on weight basis) was found in Alwar tehsil (3.44 per cent) and minimum was found in Phulera tehsil (1.20 per cent). The over all mean sclerotia per cent recorded was 2.63 per cent.
... The pioneering work was the first report directly incriminating aflatoxin in food as human health hazard at the community level and gained wide international recognition and acceptance of aflatoxin induced toxicity in humans through contaminated staple cereals. (ii) Investigated outbreak of enteroergotism that occurred in Jaipur and Sikar districts of Rajasthan during 1975 due to the consumption of pearl millet contaminated with Clavine group of alkaloids 11 . Epidemiological investigations led to the derivation of non-toxic level of ergot alkaloids of 28 µg/kg body weight from intake of 200 g of pearl millet 11 . ...
... (ii) Investigated outbreak of enteroergotism that occurred in Jaipur and Sikar districts of Rajasthan during 1975 due to the consumption of pearl millet contaminated with Clavine group of alkaloids 11 . Epidemiological investigations led to the derivation of non-toxic level of ergot alkaloids of 28 µg/kg body weight from intake of 200 g of pearl millet 11 . It was named Enteroergotism, different from the classical vascular ergotism ravaging Europe in medieval years due to classical ergot alkaloids of the rye 12 . ...
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Article
Since the first report of lathyrism in 1926, the ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) at Hyderabad, India, has made tremendous contributions in the field of food toxins/food safety for the benefit of the people. The present article highlights the Institute's work on various food toxins/foodborne diseases since its inception and discusses the important contributions made in the context of public health protection that formed the basis for several national policies on their prevention and control. The investigations on food toxins, in the initial decades, were limited to the description of lathyrism and its endemicity. Subsequently, the horizon was broadened to include the problem of mycotoxins and mycotoxicosis, which had received global attention and variety of other disease outbreaks investigations leading to total food safety transition in the forthcoming decades. Important contributions in epidemiological investigations, reproduction of the disease in experimental animals, surveillance and monitoring studies, development of methods for detection of food toxins and contaminants, evolving strategies for prevention and control and developing the concept of risk assessment and risk management for addressing food safety issues in the country are discussed.
... In addition, it reduce the quality of the grain in an infected crop by contaminating it with the alkaloid containing sclerotia of ergot. (Bhinde and Sheth 1957, Patel et al., 1958, Ramkrishnan 1971, Bhat, Roy and Tulpule 1976, Krishnamachari and Bhat 1976 [6,15,5] . Ergot, caused by C. fusiformis loveless, was a minor disease of pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke) in India until the early 1970s when it became a serious problem in crops of the recently developed and adopted commercial F1 hybrids (Arya and Kumar 1976, Ramkrishnan 1971and Thakur and Williams 1980 [23] . ...
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Experiment Findings
The present study was on pathogenicity, morphology and identification of Claviceps fusiformis which responsible for ergot disease of pearl millet and observed most favorable stage of panicle emerged at which highest disease was observed. The disease was found to be very severe in all pearl millet growing areas causing heavy destruction. The main aim of this study clearly demonstrated that C. fusiformis is a primary pathogen in pearl millet, causing ergot disease. Isolates of C. fusiformis were collected from ergot infected panicle (at honey dew stage) of pearl millet in the fields around Jobner, Jaipur. The pathogen was isolated from sample on PDA media in Petri plate and make a mass multiplication for pathogenicity test. Inoculated the conidial suspension on healty plant and symptoms test morphology of pathogen are identified according to Thakur and King 1988 and observed that highest PDI (53.1 per cent) at 75 per cent panicle emerged followed by 42.6 per cent PDI at 50 per cent panicle emerged than 35.88 per cent PDI at 25 per cent panicle emerged.
... Other important members of Claviceps spp. are C. africana, in which dihydroergosine is the principal EA found in its sclerotia [56]; C. fusiformis, related to agroclavine, elymoclavine, chanoclavine, penniclavine, and setoclavine production [57], but no D-lysergic acid derivatives [35,58]; and C. gigantea [59], C. paspali, and C. hirtella, which are also mainly clavine producers [13]. ...
Chapter
Ergot alkaloids are indole derivatives produced by a wide range of fungi, being considered medically important because of their significant effect on the central nervous system of mammals, due to their structural similarity to neurotransmitters. They are also considered mycotoxins due to the severe toxic effects of ergot-contaminated grains on human and animal health. This chapter summarizes different aspects of ergot alkaloids concerning their chemistry, biosynthesis, and bioactivity, discussing the pharmacological activity as well as some important aspects related to their toxicity, occurrence, and regulations. Finally, an overview of analytical methods for the determination of ergot alkaloids is included, whereby high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to fluorescence or mass spectrometer detection are the most widely used methods, although other techniques such as capillary electrophoresis or immunoassays have also been reported.
... Repeated dosing of EAs, to lab animals like rats results in decreased body weight, hormonal changes (EFSA, 2012). In more recent years, outbreaks have occurred in human populations and the effects included gangrene and loss of limbs and nervous signs including giddiness, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting [68,69]. ...
Article
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites of molds show antagonistic possessions on human beings, wildlife, and agro sector that result in mystery disorders and economic disturbances. The mycotoxins contaminated foods and fodder are omnipresent and become a global concern. Due to the consumption of contaminated food and fodder, epidemic out breaks are a frequent and a common phenomenon. The most important agriculture oriented mycotoxins are ai¬‚atoxins, possible for hepatic cancer, childhood impairment and also causes acute toxicosis; fumonisins, are linked with esophageal cancer and neural tube defects (NTDs); while immunotoxic deoxynivalenol (DON) and other trichothecenes, cause gastroenteritis; and ochratoxin A (OTA), has been connected with kidney diseases. This review primarily describes each group of mycotoxins in detail, and their adverse effects on global population health and wealth.
... Other important members of Claviceps spp. are C. africana, in which dihydroergosine is the principal EA found in its sclerotia [56]; C. fusiformis, related to agroclavine, elymoclavine, chanoclavine, penniclavine, and setoclavine production [57], but no D-lysergic acid derivatives [35,58]; and C. gigantea [59], C. paspali, and C. hirtella, which are also mainly clavine producers [13]. ...
Chapter
Ergot alkaloids are indole derivatives produced by a wide range of fungi, being considered medically important because of their significant effect on the central nervous system of mammals, due to their structural similarity to neurotransmitters. They are also considered mycotoxins due to the severe toxic effects of ergot-contaminated grains on human and animal health. This chapter summarizes different aspects of ergot alkaloids concerning their chemistry, biosynthesis, and bioactivity, discussing the pharmacological activity as well as some important aspects related to their toxicity, occurrence, and regulations. Finally, an overview of analytical methods for the determination of ergot alkaloids is included, whereby high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to fluorescence or mass spectrometer detection are the most widely used methods, although other techniques such as capillary electrophoresis or immunoassays have also been reported.
... India suffered a number of outbreaks caused by other members of the genus Claviceps with devastating results in 1956-1957 and 1975 due to consumption of C. fusiformis ergotized pearl millet, Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br. (Krishnamachari and Bhat 1976 ;Patel et al. 1958 ), and sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) caused by Claviceps sorghi P. C. africana Freder. et al. in 2001 (Navi et al. 2002 ;Pažoutová et al. 2000 ). ...
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Chapter
In the last 20 years, studies on the early evolution of fungi have made significant developments with the assistance of molecular clock dating methods and new fossil evidence. The origin of fungi probably dates back over 800 million years ago. The evolution of major fungal phyla is also reviewed. New archaeological discoveries and new analytic technologies developed in the last four decades enable us to date the artifacts related to using fungi from preliterate periods of human beings. At present, utilization of fungi by humans can be traced back to prehistorical periods. The production of alcoholic drinks and fermented foods and usage of medicinal microfungi in human history are discussed and updated.
... Ergotism is caused by a number of Claviceps species that infect grass species, particularly rye, wheat and pearl millet [52]. The latter is a staple in India, where a number of ergot outbreaks have been reported in the late 1950s and 1975 [53]. Two groups of mycotoxins are associated with ergotism: alkaloids of the, clavine group and the ergotamine group. ...
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Article
The criteria of human mycotoxicoses are discussed and the role of certain mycotoxins in human diseases highlighted, e.g. ergotoxins (ergotism), trichothecenes, T2-toxin (alimentary toxic aleukia), aflatoxins (primary liver cancer), ochratoxins (Balkan Endemic Nephropathy and chronic interstitial nephropathy) and fumonisins (oesophogeal cancer). The chemical properties and biochemical mechanism of action of aflatoxin B1 ochratoxin A and fumonisin B1 are discussed.
... The other type of ergotism, a convulsive form related to intoxication with clavine alkaloids from C. fusiformis, was seen during 1975 in India where 78 persons were affected. It was characterized by gastrointestinal symptoms followed by convulsion and other effects on the central nervous system (7,8). ...
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Article
Background: Ergotism is caused by the fungus Claviceps purpurea, which parasitizes cereal grains and is ingested by man through flour milled from contaminated cereals. An outbreak of ergotism in Ethiopia in 1978 resulted from exposure to ergot alkaloids from C. puruprea sclerotia. Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate consumption of cereal grains grown locally as the most likely cause of the outbreak of gangrenous ergotism so that control measures could be applied. Methods: During June to August, 2001, there were reports of a large number of cases of gangrene in Arsi Zone, Ethiopia. A multi-disciplinary team assessed the outbreak of the decease. Non-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with heads of households of the affected, and each of the patients was also interviewed. Grain samples were then collected from the interviewed households and analyzed for ergot alkaloids. Acute toxicity studies were also conducted by feeding male, non-pregnant and pregnant Swiss albino mice with the collected grain samples. Results: Mycological cultures of grain samples yielded ergot alkaloids. All the grain samples contained ergot alkaloids, but with varying concentration. The highest concentration of ergotamine was observed in grain samples No. 4 (2.51 mg/100 g) and No. 6 (2.66 mg/100 g). Grain samples No. 2 and 7 had similar concentration of ergotamine, but more than four-fold higher than in grain sample No. 3. In contrast, the concentration of ergometrine in grain samples No. 4 (1.15mg/100 g) and No.6 (1.21mg/100 g) were two-fold lower than ergotamine. The highest death (55%) of mice was observed in those test groups fed on grain samples No. 4 and No. 6. Cases of abortion were noted after 3 days of feeding in all pregnant mice with the exception of those allocated to grain sample No. 3. Conclusion: We conclude on the basis of these results that the outbreak of gangrene in Arsi Zone, Ethiopia, is attributed to the ingestion of barley containing ergotized wild oats. [Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2002;16(3):317-323]
... Lower doses can induce symptoms including abdominal pain, vomiting, burning sensation of the skin, insomnia, and hallucinations. Cases of human poisoning from ergot have been reported in more recent times in France (Fuller, 1968), India (Krishnamachari & Bhat, 1976), and Ethiopia (Urga et al., 2002 ). Nowadays ergotism has practically been eliminated as a human disease, but it remains an important veterinary problem, particularly in cattle, horses, sheep, pigs and chicken. ...
... Lesser doses can induce symptoms including abdominal pains, vomiting, burning sensations of the skin, insomnia, and hallucinations. Cases of human poisoning have been reported in France (Fuller 1968), India Krishnamachari and Bhat 1976), and Ethiopia (Urga et al. 2002). ...
Article
UK rye-based cereal products were analysed for six major ergot alkaloids using an in-house-validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method that distinguished -ine and -inine epimers (isomers). Ergot alkaloids were detected in 25 of 28 samples subject to quantification limits of 1–3 µg kg−1, including all of eleven rye crispbreads that had up to 340 µg kg−1. Continental-style rye breads contained up to 121 µg kg−1. Loaf breads, bread-mix flours, and crackers contained only low levels of alkaloids. Ergotamine, ergocristine, and ergosine were the predominant ergot alkaloids in terms of level and frequency of occurrence. There were no apparent differences in the ergot levels between the organic and non-organic products, although the numbers tested were low. Most rye breads had a ratio of -ines to -inines of about 1.5, and rye crispbreads had lower and more variable -ine to -inine ratios.
... Photosensitization secondary to hepatic dysfunction induced by kleingrass (Panicum coloratum) and secondary photosensitization due to grazing bambatsi grass (Panicum coloratum var makarikariense) have been reported in sheep (Bridges et al. 1987;Reqnault 1990). There is also a report by Krishnamachari and Bhat (1976) showing poisoning with pearl millet in men. To our best knowledge, there is no research on the proso-millet-induced toxicity in sheep and also no published report on proso millet poisoning in Iranian fat-tailed sheep. ...
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Article
An outbreak of hepatogenous photosensitization and jaundice occurred in a flock of 253 fat-tailed sheep grazing pasture of proso millet (Panicum miliaceum) in Iran. Eighty three animals were clinically diagnosed intoxicated and 41 were found dead and locally grown proso millet was implicated as the cause. The diagnosis of toxicosis was based on clinical signs as well as laboratory and pathological findings. Clinical signs including increase of heart rate (99bpm), respiratory rate (55 breaths/min) and temperature (40.4°C), photosensitization, severe head swelling, decreasing appetite, and severe icterus in mucosal membranes were observed about 20days after grazing pastures of millet. Serum biochemical parameters were analyzed through standard biochemical techniques on blood samples collected from 27 intoxicated sheep as well as ten clinically healthy sheep as control group. Serum biochemistry suggested hepatobiliary and hepatoparenchymal damage with impaired renal function. Laboratory findings indicated significant (P < 0.05) increase in the concentrations of creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), total bilirubin, direct and indirect bilirubin, and the activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT). At post-mortem examination, liver and kidneys were affected. Gross lesions were characterized by pyknosis, karyolysis, kariorrhexis, and cytoplasmic hypereosinophilia in the cells of affected tubules especially proximal tubules, indicating an acute tubular necrosis. Severe centriacinar and periacinar hepatic lipidosis with a lot of cytoplasmic vacuoles in hepatocytes were observed histologically. There is no specific treatment for millet toxicosis; however, feeds can be changed to alfalfa and wheat hay and supportive care with fluid therapy and cathartic administration is recommended.
Chapter
Mycotoxigenic fungi grow on a wide range of agricultural crops and their products and have the ability to produce one or more, low-molecular-weight toxic secondary metabolites known as mycotoxins. This term was coined after a veterinary outbreak in England (UK) in 1962 where lakhs of poultry birds died after ingesting aflatoxin-contaminated peanut meal. Since then, mycotoxins have assumed global importance. From India also, a number of acute and chronic diseases and in some cases fatal consequences have been reported among humans and animals after ingestion of food/feed contaminated with mycotoxins. Various environmental parameters like temperature, water activity and pH along with the nutritional status of the substrate are the key determinants of fungal colonization and biosynthesis of mycotoxins. The most important mycotoxigenic species belong to the fungal genera Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium, which produce mycotoxins like aflatoxins, ochratoxins, fumonisins, patulin, citrinin, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol and many more. In view of being natural unavoidable contaminants of foods and feeds, mycotoxins impose health risks to the consumers as they are heat stable and have diverse toxic effects and synergistic properties. This review summarizes data on the natural occurrence of mycotoxins with acute toxicological characteristics found associated with cereals, animal feeds, dried medicinal herbs, fresh and sun-dried fruits and vegetables, dry nuts, spices and condiments, oil seeds, oilseed cakes, vegetable oils and many other consumables of importance grown and consumed in India.KeywordsAflatoxinsOchratoxinsFumonisinsZearalenoneDeoxynivalenolPatulinCitrininCyclopiazonic acid
Chapter
Healthy seed plays an important role in ensuring productivity and profitability of crops. Contamination of seed with various toxins adversely impacts human and animal health. Fungal species produce toxic metabolites called mycotoxins that contaminate staple foods and feeds. They represent an unavoidable problem due to their presence in globally consumed cereals. Mycotoxin may be hepatotoxins, nephrotoxins, and neurotoxins. Majority of mycotoxins cause suppression of the immune system, and some are carcinogenic in nature and adversely affect human and animal health and reduce livestock production. Stricter control of mycotoxins has been envisioned worldwide. While human beings are adapting to cope with environmental changes, such as food scarcity, decreased food quality, mycotoxin regulations, crop production, and climate change, fungal species are also adapting, and increased cases of mycotoxins-induced adverse health are likely to occur in the future. It is of vital importance for different countries to set mycotoxin limits and regulations taking into account both scientific and socioeconomic factors. The first limits for mycotoxins were set in the late 1960s for the aflatoxins, and by the end of 2003, several countries had developed specific limits for mycotoxins in foodstuffs and feedstuffs, and the number continues to grow. To ensure food security, we need a way to balance global mycotoxin standards which are realizable, considering limitations of producers and designing strategies to reduce mycotoxin exposure based on sound research.
Chapter
Cereals are the most efficient human food source, both in terms of energy supply and nutrition. People of all races rely on cereals as their main staple diet, with more than half of the world’s population eating rice as their principal food. Therefore producers, processors, the public and governmental authorities need to be aware of the spoilage, adulteration and public health problems of these basic foods. This chapter covers only the major grains in commercial production, with less emphasis on small scale farming and processing (see Iizuka, 1957. 1958; Day, 1974; Hoover, 1974). For reviews of the microbiology of fermented Oriental and Indian cereal products see Hesseltine (1965, 1979) and Beuchat (1987). Cereals are also the basis for many animal feeds (see Chapter 4), but this chapter covers only human foods.
Article
This paper explores the occurrence and impact of mycotoxins linked to cereals and their indirect impact on human food safety. Epidemiological cases are used to evaluate the impact of mycotoxins on food and feed supply chains. It is shown that mycotoxins pose significant problems and, the implementation and enforcement of legislation, and the development of efficient supply chain strategies including private standards to reduce the risks of contamination and subsequent health issues are considered. Further, the paper identifies the different challenges faced by developing and developed nations in relation to managing the risks associated with mycotoxins relative to local, regional and global trading systems.
Chapter
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by filamentous fungi which contaminate a large fraction of the world’s food, mainly staple foods such as corn, cereals, groundnuts, and tree nuts, besides meat, milk, and eggs. This worldwide contamination of foods is an enormous problem to human populations, principally in less industrialized countries and in the rural areas of some developed countries. The adverse effects of mycotoxins on human health can be both acute and chronic, provoking problems such as liver cancer, reduction of immunity, alterations in the protein metabolism, gangrene, convulsions, and respiratory problems, among others. The economic impact of mycotoxins in foods includes increased health care costs and premature deaths. Some factors which influence the presence of mycotoxins in foods are related to environmental conditions, such as storage, that can be controlled without too much expense. The cleaning of contaminated foods, on the hand, is economically costly and rarely implemented, so it tends to be carried out mainly in developing countries. Aflatoxins, ergot alkaloids, ochratoxins, 3-nitropropionic acid, fumonisins, trichothecenes, and zearelenone, are the most important economically, although dozens of other mycotoxins can also be associated with human health risks. Despite international attempts to improve and implement legislation to control the presence of mycotoxins in foods, its implementation has been ineffective.
Chapter
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by filamentous fungi which contaminate a large fraction of the world’s food, mainly staple foods such as corn, cereals, groundnuts, and tree nuts, besides meat, milk, and eggs. This worldwide contamination of foods is an enormous problem to human populations, principally in less industrialized countries and in the rural areas of some developed countries. The adverse effects of mycotoxins on human health can be both acute and chronic, provoking problems such as liver cancer, reduction of immunity, alterations in the protein metabolism, gangrene, convulsions, and respiratory problems, among others. The economic impact of mycotoxins in foods includes increased health care costs and premature deaths. Some factors which influence the presence of mycotoxins in foods are related to environmental conditions, such as storage, that can be controlled without too much expense. The cleaning of contaminated foods, on the hand, is economically costly and rarely implemented, so it tends to be carried out mainly in developing countries. Aflatoxins, ergot alkaloids, ochratoxins, 3-nitropropionic acid, fumonisins, trichothecenes, and zearelenone, are the most important economically, although dozens of other mycotoxins can also be associated with human health risks. Despite international attempts to improve and implement legislation to control the presence of mycotoxins in foods, its implementation has been ineffective.
Chapter
Many human diseases have been suggested to result from exposure to mycotoxins. For the majority of such diseases, however, the epidemiological data establishing a causal link between exposure and disease are lacking. The purpose of this chapter is to review data associating specific mycotoxin exposures with human mycotoxicoses and to suggest avenues of research which could improve the understanding of mycotoxin-related disease. In particular, we discuss the possibility of improving measurements of mycotoxin exposure and discuss strategies for future epidemiological research on this topic. The epidemiological data are considered in relation to the causal criteria of Hill (1965).
Chapter
Mycotoxins are fungal secondary metabolites prevalent in the environment that are capable of producing clinical effects in humans that range from mild to severe, including cancer and death. Humans and animals are exposed to these contaminants mainly through the ingestion of contaminated food. Although many countries have set regulations to restrict dietary mycotoxin levels, developing countries are still at significant risk of exposure.
Article
The sclerotia of Claviceps fusiformis, the casual agent of ergot of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), were placed in soil amended with antagonists - Aspergillus niger, Epicoccum and ropogonis, Fusarium chlamydosporum, F. heterosporum, Trichoderma harzianum, T. uiride and Bacillus subtilis. The sclerotia placed in antagonist-amended soil lost their viability faster than those placed in unamended soil. The loss in viability was faster at a depth of 15 cm than at 2 cm. Bacillus subtilis, F. chlamydosporum and F. heterosporum were found most effective in reducing the viability of sclerotia. The sclerotia unamended soil survived up to 12 months, whereas in amended soil up to only four months. The selected antagonists also significantly enhanced the percentage seed germination and seedling vigour of pearl millet.
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In this new, complete Guide to Texas Grasses, Robert B. Shaw and the team at the Texas A&M University Institute of Renewable Natural Resources provide an indispensable reference to the world's most economically important plant family. After discussing the impact of grass on our everyday lives as food, biofuels, land restoration, erosion control, and water become ever more urgent issues worldwide-the book then provides:a description of the structure of the grass plant;details of the classification and distribution of Texas grasses;brief species accounts;distributional maps;color photographs;plus black-and-white drawings of 670 grass species-native, introduced, and ornamental. Scientific keys help identify the grasses to group, genera, and species, and an alphabetized checklist includes information on: origin (native or introduced); longevity (annual or perennial);growth season (cool or warm season); endangered status;and occurrence (by ecological zone). A glossary, literature citations, and a quick index to genera round out the book. Guide to Texas Grasses is a comprehensive treatment of Texas grasses meant to assist students, botanists, ecologists, agronomists, range scientists, naturalists, researchers, extension agents, and others who work with or are interested in these important plants.
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India is a tropical country with varying climates in different regions. It ranges from hot humid to semiarid or arid conditions depending on the region and the season. Basically India is an agricultural country producing a variety of agricultural commodities since time immemorial. Agriculture in India has progressed along with its great civilization. By the methods of trial and error the farmers have learnt the best methods of crop harvest, drying and its safe storage. However, occassionally, mainly because of abnormal weather conditions such as unseasonal rains, cyclones and floods the farmers are compelled to store the farm produce under higher moisture conditions which may lead to the invasion by a variety of fungi, a few of which may produce mycotoxins. Besides, some plant pathogens like Claviceps fusiformis infect the host plants leading to the development of mycotoxins. The problem of mycotoxins had been well recognised by the ancient Indians. A text entitled “Arthashastra” (economics) written in the year 300 B.C. by the great Indian diplomat Chanakya refers to killing of tigers by baiting them with the millet Kodo (Paspalum scrobiculatum). This millet does not inherently contain any toxic components. However as a result of microbial invasion, it often develops various cytochalasins. The toxic symptoms of feeding infected millet in animals include vomiting, unconsciousness and delirium. Mushroom poisoning was fairly common in ancient India. It is beleived that the Soma rasa an intoxicating drink made of certain mushrooms were being used during the vedic period in about 5000 year B.C. Lord Buddha, according to one school of thought was beleived to have died at the age of 80 years in the year 478B. C. due to consumption of “sukkaramaddava” or mushroom containing food. A mycotoxic disease in man characterised by vomiting and diarrhoea was described in India in 1929 by Narasimhan. The disease was caused by the consumption of finger millet, Eleusine coracana stored in underground storage pit-a traditional storage structure. The grains were heavily contaminated with Heterosporium
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Although recognized in importance from the dawn of history, forages have too often been underestimated and undervalued perhaps in part because animal performance has frequently failed to reflect apparent forage quality. Anti-quality components, diverse impediments to quality, have evolved as structural components and as secondary metabolites. They include mineral imbalances or can be related to the presence of insects and diseases. Animal behavior and adaptation are increasingly recognized as important aspects of anti-quality factors. An anti-quality component may reduce dry matter intake, dry matter digestibility, or result in nutritional imbalances in animals. They can act as a direct poison compromising vital systems, result in abnormal reproduction, endocrine function, and genetic aberrations, trigger undesirable behavior responses, or suppress immune function leading to increased morbidity and mortality. The economic impact of anti-quality factors on individual herds can be devastating but definable. Broadscale economic Impacts of anti-quality factors are far more difficult to estimate. A loss of 0.22 kg/day in potential gain of stocker cattle due to antiquality factors during a 166-day grazing season translates into a loss of about $55/steer at $1.45/kg or over $2 billion annually when applied to the U.S stocker rattle. Economic losses to tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) toxicosis in the U.S. beef industry are probably underestimated at $600 million annually. Reproductive and death losses of livestock due to poisonous plants have been estimated at $340 million in the 17 western states alone. These examples of economic losses due to anti-quality factors may be upper bounds of actual losses but even if a small proportion of the expected losses were eliminated through research, the potential payoff would be extremely high.
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Isolates of the pearl millet ergot pathogen Claviceps fusiformis were collected from eight locations in India and studied for morphological and pathogenic variations. Sclerotia were examined for shape, size and cavities, and residual macro-and microconidia for their size and viability. Sclerotia from Aurangabad and ICRISAT Centre were the largest (5× 2.5 mm) and heaviest (1.4g/100 sclerotia), and from Mysore the smallest (3 × 2 mm) and lightest (0.4 g/100 sclerotia). The average number of cavities (furrows) was minimum in the Mysore collection (4/sclerotium) and maximum in the Kovilpatti collection (15/sclerotium). Large variations occurred in size and ratios between the number of macro- and microconidia residual on sclerotia from different locations. Time to initiation of germination of macroconidia from sclerotia in sterile distilled water at 25 °C varied from 24 h in Aurangabad and Jobner collections to 50 h in the Kovilpatti collection. The macroconidia of the Pune collection did not germinate. The isolates differed in growth characteristics on Kirchoff's agar at 25°. In a pathogenicity test using 10-day-old culture inoculum in six pearl millet genotypes (3 resistant and 3 susceptible), some isolates were more virulent than others.
Article
Ergot alkaloids are formed by Claviceps spp. on grains and grasses and by fungal endophytes such as Neotyphodiurn spp. in grasses, notably tall fescue and perennial ryegrass. Ergots from grains and grasses show a wide variation in alkaloid composition. The main ergot alkaloids are pharmacologically active lysergic acid derivatives - e.g. ergometrine (ergonovine), ergotamine, ergosine, ergocornine, a-ergocryptine, ergocristine, and ergovaline; derivatives of isolysergic acid, e.g. ergotaminine; and clavine alkaloids, e.g. agroclavine. Other structurally unrelated toxic alkaloids such as lolitrems are formed by fungal endophytes in grasses. The present review focuses more on how man and animals are exposed to ergot alkaloids than on toxicology and methods of analysis. Ergot poisoning in humans, well known in the Middle Ages, can be of two types: convulsive ergotism and gangrenous ergotism. Since the beginning of the last century there have been outbreaks in Russia, England, India, France and Ethiopia. The principal route of human exposure to ergot alkaloids is by consumption of contaminated food; another route is inhalation of grain dust. Toxicoses in animals due to ergot alkaloids are more common, particularly poisoning of livestock grazing on endophyte infected grasses. Analyses in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark found ergot alkaloids in human foods such as wheat and rye flours, bread, and other grain foods, often at levels greater than 1000 mu g/kg. Processing studies have confirmed that the alkaloids survive baking; they also remain to some extent after brewing of beer. There is little evidence for carryover of ergot alkaloids into animal tissue and milk. As an indication of the importance of controlling ergot for the health of animals and people, Canada, the European Union, Switzerland, USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have regulations for ergot in grains but only Uruguay and Canada have regulations for the actual ergot alkaloids in feed.
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Mycotoxins are gaining increasing importance due to their deleterious effects on human and animal health. Chronic health risks are particularly prevalent in India where the diets of the people are highly prone to mycotoxins due to poor harvesting practices, improper storage and transport coupled with high temperature and moisture. This paper reviews disease outbreaks of mycotoxicoses other than aflatoxins in India due to ingestion of mycotoxin-contaminated food. Ergotism is one of the earliest known outbreaks of mycotoxins reported in rural areas of western India associated with pearl millet grain. Trichothecenes have been involved in an acute human mycotoxicosis known as alimentary toxic aleukia in India during 1987 and were attributed to the consumption of mouldy wheat. Deoxynivalenol was implicated in an outbreak of emetic syndrome in Kashmir State. An outbreak of acute foodborne disease caused by fumonisin was reported in south India during 1995 affecting 1,424 people due to contaminated sorghum and maize. Rhizopus toxicosis was reported from Maharashtra State and caused the death of three people. These outbreaks continue to be a significant health problem of people in India, because their poor purchasing power compels them to consume contaminated food.
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Methods for detection and determination of ergot alkaloids in grains, grasses, feeds and grain foods are reviewed. They incorporate simple detection procedures - colorimetry, thin layer chromatography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay - or instrumental procedures such as liquid chromatography with fluorescence, mass spectrometric (MS) or MS/MS detection, capillary zone electrophoresis, and direct MS/MS.
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This is a compilation of data on the occurrence of mycotoxins other than aflatoxin in foods and feeds from Africa, Asia and South America with 75 references.
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The study presents for the first time a systematic investigation of matrix effects in the LC-MS/MS analysis of ergot alkaloids in cereals. In order to assure the accuracy of the results, several approaches to minimize/eliminate matrix effects were investigated including variation of ionization techniques, chromatography and sample preparation on different grain types and grain varieties. It was revealed that the use of UPLC and careful choice of sample preparation might reduce signal suppression/enhancement. In general, ergometrine was found to be the most susceptible among the ergot alkaloids studied, but none of the used approaches suggested a total elimination of matrix effects; only less than half of its MS signal could be recovered. The late-eluting compounds were less affected by matrix components in all conditions tested. Further, the robustness of the applied LC-MS method was checked by means of a fractional factorial design. The results indicate that small changes to the sample preparation parameters, namely pH and concentration of extraction buffer, shaking time, drying temperature and extraction volumes, did not significantly (α = 0.05) affect the recoveries of ergot alkaloids. Figure SSE (%) applying different sample preparation procedures
Article
The occurrence of mycotoxins in selected staple foods and feeds in India has been studied. A total of 468 samples comprising of 150 samples of sorghum, 102 samples of corn, 58 samples of wheat, 19 samples of whole wheat flour, 37 samples of refined wheat flour and 102 samples of mixed animal feeds were screened for aflatoxins and trichothecenes [deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol, 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol, and T-2 toxin]. Occurrence of aflatoxins was observed in 45 samples of corn, 4 samples of sorghum, and 12 samples of mixed animal feeds with concentrations ranging from 0.02 to 7.4 μg/g in corn, from 0.02 to 0.06 μg/g in sorghum, and from 0.04 to 3.0 μg/g in animal feeds. The occurrence of trichothecenes was confined to the rain-affected samples of wheat and wheat products. DON was found to occur in one sample of wheat (0.31 μg/g) and in two samples of whole wheat flour (0.35 and 8.38 μg/g). In refined wheat flour, DON occurred in 11 samples (0.44-4.85 μg/g), nivalenol in 2 samples (0.1 and 0.03 μg/g), and 3-acetyl-DON in 4 samples (0.64-2.49 μg/g). T-2 toxin occurred in three samples of wheat (0.55-4.0 μg/g) and in one sample of refined wheat flour (0.8 μg/g). The study highlights the need for routine surveillance of agricultural commodities to minimize potential hazards to human health.
Article
Four pearl millet F, hybrids, ICH-118, ICH-220, BJ-104, and ICH-206, which are highly susceptible to ergot, were grown one/season in isolation plots and in a demonstration plot during the four rainy seasons of 1978-81, respectively, alone and mixed with an early flowering variety SC-2(M)5-4, which is less susceptible to ergot (less than 10% severity) to test the hypothesis that increased pollen availability at the early stages of flowering in hybrids protects the hybrids from ergot infection. In 1978, the hybrid was grown with the pollen donor in a seed mixture (4 parts hybrid and 1 part pollen donor) and in other years one row of the pollen donor was planted between two, four, or eight rows of the hybrid. Ergot inoculations were made 3–4 times at protogyny flowering stage of the hybrids. Significant reductions in ergot infection and considerable increase in grain yields occurred in the hybrids when grown with the pollen donor line. The possible application of this control measure in farmers' fields is discussed.
Article
Toxicological evaluation of Karnal bunt wheat was carried out in monkeys, feeding a diet containing 70% karnal bunt wheat, for 12 weeks. Blood was drawn once every two weeks. In addition to hematological parameters, total protein, albumin, alkaline phosphatase and transaminases were estimated in serum. The results of the study did not indicate any adverse effect in monkeys on consumption of up to 70% Karnal bunt affected wheat.
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Assessing the significance of unwanted chemicals in food is problematic. The evaluation of cause and effect of many unwanted chemicals in foods and feed is complicated by cumulative low doses and the delayed onset of symptoms. This paper reviews incidents of unwanted chemicals in food and feed where people were adversely affected, or where an unusually high level was found and traced to a particular event and for which some socio-economic impact information was available. Incidents and impacts were identified from the peer-reviewed scientific literature, from governmental websites, from Internet searches, from trades and consumer associations and media releases. Some 44 major events were identified from 1888 to date. Information on the impacts of these incidents is fragmentary and unsystematic, ranging from thousands of Euros to meet the cost of monitoring analysis, to many millions of Euros due to court prosecutions, bankruptcy, product disposal, revenue loss compensation, damage to brand or reputation, or loss of life. An evolution is apparent from the evidence of human health effects/toxicity data, igniting legal action and legislative changes, to the implementation of monitoring and surveillance alerts to ensure that risks are identified and managed – if possible – before they reach the consumer.
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Humans are exposed to mycotoxins via ingestion, contact and inhalation. This must have occurred throughout human history and led to severe outbreaks. Potential diseases range from akakabio-byo to stachybotryotoxicosis and cancer. The known molecular bases of toxicology run the gamut of 23 compounds, from aflatoxins (AFs) to zearalenone, ochratoxin A and deoxynivalenol. Ergotism is one of the oldest recognized mycotoxicosis, although mycotoxin science only commenced in the 1960s with the discovery of AFs in turkey feed. AFs are carcinogenic. Some others are suspected carcinogens. The effects of mycotoxins are acute or chronic in nature. Mycotoxins are well known in the scientific community, although they have a low profile in the general population. An incongruous situation occurs in United States where mycotoxins from "moldy homes" are considered to be a significant problem, although there is a general debate about seriousness. This contrasts with the thousands of deaths from mycotoxins that occur, even now, in the technologically less developed countries (e.g., Indonesia, China, and Africa). Mycotoxins are more toxic than pesticides. Studies are moving from whole animal work to investigating the biochemical mechanisms in isolated cells, and the mechanisms of toxicity at the molecular level are being elucidated. The stereochemical nature of AFs has been shown to be important. In addition, the effect of multiple mycotoxins is being increasingly investigated, which will more accurately represent the situation in nature. It is anticipated that more fungal metabolites will be recognized as dangerous toxins and permitted statutory levels will decrease in the future.
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Mycotoxins are natural contaminants of cereals and other commodities throughout the world. They are produced by various strains of moulds, particularly in tropical countries. Due to significant trade of cereals, humans in temperate countries can also be exposed to mycotoxins. The most common route of exposure to mycotoxins is ingestion, but it may also involve dermal, respiratory, and parenteral routes, the last being associated with drug abuse. Apart from acute and chronic toxic effects on human health called mycotoxicosis, some mycotoxins are proved or suspected human carcinogens. This paper describes various human diseases caused by ergot, aflatoxin, ochratoxin A, 3-nitropropionic acid, trichothecene, zearalenone, and fumonisin. It also gives a quick review of human carcinogenicity evaluations of the International Agency for Research on Cancer and of regulatory limits of mycotoxin concentrations in various commodities.
Article
During June to September, 1987, there were reports that a considerable segment of the population of Kashmir Valley, India, were affected by a gastrointestinal disorder. Epidemiological investigations and laboratory based studies indicated that the outbreak was associated with the consumption of bread made from mould-damaged wheat. The disease was not age or sex specific. Evidence of mould damage of wheat consisted of the presence of moulds (such as Fusarium sp, Aspergillus sp), and varying quantities of trichothecene mycotoxins (such as deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, acetyldeoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin) in samples tested. The symptoms were reproduced in dogs fed extracts of contaminated samples. The finding that trichothecene mycotoxins, especially deoxynivalenol trichothecene, cause symptoms in man emphasizes the need for a reappraisal of its safety limits in food.
Article
To examine whether hyperglycaemia impairs the absorption of sulphonylurea agents, glipizide, which is rapidly and completely absorbed, was measured in plasma from 12 healthy young subjects during various levels of experimentally-induced hyperglycaemia. An increase in the plasma glucose concentration above 7 mmol/l was associated with a dose-dependent delay in the absorption of glipizide; at a concentration above 11 mmol/l, the plasma glipizide concentration was reduced by 50%. The data indicate that hyperglycaemia may delay the absorption of sulphonylurea agents, probably because it impairs gastric motility and/or gastric emptying. This delay of absorption may be clinically relevant, since the efficacy of short-acting sulphonylureas is dependent upon the absorption rate of the drug.
Article
Sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis (SEP) was diagnosed in two men, one middle-aged woman, and a prepubertal girl, none of whom had been treated with beta-blockers, peritoneal dialysis, or peritoneal shunting. Idiopathic SEP has hitherto been reported mainly in adolescent females. It is hypothesised that in these patients, who were from two adjacent districts of Rajasthan, an aetiological factor was consumption of cereals infected with fungus that contained biologically active amines.
Article
Despite an Assyrian bas-relief which refers to 'noxious pustules' in the ear of grain, ancient Greek references to infested rye, and accounts of epidemics of peripheral gangrene and convulsions in the Middle Ages, it was not until 1850 or so that an association between the ingestion of rye infected with Claviceps purpurea and clinical ergotism was established. Other mycotoxicoses followed-a syndrome associated with the ingestion of bread infected by Fusarium graminearum was described; human stachybotryotoxicosis (usually a disease of horses) was identified; and another mycotoxicosis, called 'aleukia' (later alimentary toxic aleukia, ATA) was described in the 1930s in the Ukraine. This disease killed horses and man and was associated with infection of overwintered grains by Fusarium poea and F. sporotrichoides. From these observations it was evident that a potentially large number of toxic metabolites are produced by fungi. Mycotoxins have been suggested as a causative factor in a large number of diseases in animals and man, and some extended extrapolations from animals exposures have been made. Nevertheless, it is clear that real hazards exist. In 1981 the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Enviroment expressed the view that it would be prudent to reduce the level of aflatoxin concentration in food to the lowest level practicable and expressed concern about the levels of this mycotoxin reported in milk and in nuts and nut products. Since that time, these levels have been reduced in milk but imported animal feedstuffs still contain aflatoxin, which may thus reach man. Aflatoxin B1 is still present in nuts and nut products (e.g., peanut butter) at levels above the lowest that is practicable. For these reasons, levels of mycotoxins are monitored in food but they clearly occur in the United Kingdom at levels which are at or below the limits of detection.
Article
In India foodborne diseases occur frequently causing morbidity and mortality. Outbreaks of foodborne diseases due to natural toxic factors like microbiological and environmental contaminants has been reported. In most of the outbreaks the etiological factors were identified and preventive measures recommended. The common form of foodborne diseases are found to be due to bacterial contamination of foods.
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