African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development

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Aflatoxins and fumonisin contamination of marketed maize, maize bran and maize used as animal feed in northern Tanzania

C Nyangi, J.K. Mugula, F Beed, S Boni, E Koyano, M Sulyok


The objective of this study was to investigate the occurrence of total aflatoxin and total fumonisin in maize and maize-based products in Babati, northern Tanzania. A total of 160 samples were collected in 2013-14. Quantification for total aflatoxin and fumonisin was done using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Reveal AccuScan® Neogen, USA) and the results were confirmed using Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometer. Aflatoxin was detected in 32% of maize samples (mean 3.4 ± 0.3 μg/kg; range 2.1–16.2 μg/kg) and fumonisin in 39% of samples (mean 5.6 ± 1.40 mg/kg; range 0.4–62.0 mg/kg). Among marketed products, maize bran (used for animal feed) was the most contaminated (2.4 μg/kg aflatoxin and 1 mg/kg fumonisin), followed by whole maize in market stalls (1.9 μg/kg aflatoxin and 0.4 mg/kg fumonisin) and then maize flour (1.4 μg/kg aflatoxin and 0.3 mg/kg fumonisin). Un-marketed maize sorted out by farmers as “bad” and intended for animal feeding was the most contaminated (overall mean aflatoxin and fumonisin levels of 1.7 μg/kg and 7.4 mg/kg, respectively). The results indicate that levels of aflatoxin and fumonisin contamination in marketed maize were within tolerable limits.

Keywords: Tanzania, aflatoxins, fumonisins, food safety, maize, market, processors, animal feed

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