Toxicity of Aflatoxins

The toxicity of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 is mostly measured as oral LD50 (dosage of the toxin at which 50 % of test animals are killed) in pg per 50 grams of body weight (1-day old duckling), while for toxic aflatoxins like M1 and M2 it is measured as oral LD50 in pg per duckling. Carnaghan, Buchi and Holzapfel have extensively measured LD50 measurements with relation to aflatoxins. In general, the most toxic aflatoxins appear to be types B1 and Mp LD50 are < 18 and 12- lb mg/kg, respectively), while aflatoxin G2 seems to show very low values if compared with other aflatoxins (Budavari and O’Neil 1989; D’Mello 2003; Westendorf 1999).

Placement of Aflatoxins in Food Safety and Standards Regulations 2011

Limits of Aflatoxins in Indian Food Commodities

The FSSR 2011 enlists aflatoxins among crop contaminants like patulin and ochratoxin—antibiotics from metabolites of a number of fungi, such as A. clavatus, A claviforme, A. gigateus, A. sulphureus, Penicillium patulum—and naturally occurring toxic substances like agaric acid, hydrocyanic acid, hypericin, and safrole (FSSR 2011, The interested Reader is invited to consult the FSSR 2011, Chap 2, Sect. 2). For example purposes, it can be noted here that patulin is allowed in apple juice and apple juice ingredients in other beverages up to 5.0 mg/kg, while aflatoxin M1 is permitted in milk up to 0.5 mg/kg only.

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