A review of agricultural aflatoxin management strategies and emerging innovations in sub-saharan Africa
Aflatoxins are highly carcinogenic secondary metabolites produced by Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus and A. nomius. Aflatoxin contamination of food and animal feeds is, therefore, a major food security, food safety, trade, human and domestic animal health concern. Researchers worldwide have suggested various agriculture-based strategies to manage aflatoxigenic Aspergillus species and reduce contamination to safe levels. This paper reviews various agricultural strategies that could be employed to reduce contamination of aflatoxins in food crops and animal feeds, as well as the challenges faced by these reduction strategies. Among these strategies are innovations like AflasafeTM and solar grain driers. It is hoped that this critique will stimulate refinement of the existing aflatoxin control approaches and innovations to maximize their efficacy.
Keywords: aflatoxins, plant resistance, atoxigenic strains, drying instruments, aflatoxin control, food safety, mycotoxins, post-harvest losses