Determination of aflatoxin contamination in cassava flour sold in selected markets in Zaria, Kaduna state; Nigeria
Cassava (Manihot esculenta ) is a major staple food crop across tropical sub-Saharan Africa. Poor drying during processing or storage, especially during the rainy season, often results in contamination by fungi such as Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium. Aflatoxins are among the mycotoxins which are secondary metabolites produced by some strains of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus which are a major health concern to man and livestock because of their acute and chronic health effects. The aim of this study was to determine aflatoxin contamination and to quantify the aflatoxin levels in cassava flour. A total of 36 samples of Cassava flour were collected in three (3) major markets in Zaria, these are: Samaru, Sabon Gari and Zaria City Markets to determine and quantify aflatoxins using enzyme linked immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). The results obtained showed that 22 out of 36 were contaminated with total aflatoxins at the range of 2.0μg/kg to 7.5μg/kg. This study indicated that there is low aflatoxin concentration in the Cassava and suggested that the cassava flour is safe and good for human consumption.
Key words: Cassava, Aflatoxin, Fungi, Market