Aflatoxin contamination of locallyprocessed cereal-based complementary foods in Tanzania
Feeding children with cereal-based foods has potential to expose them to
aflatoxins (AFs).This study was conducted to determine the occurrence and levels of aflatoxins (AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2) in 64 commercial locally produced cereal-based complementary foods obtained from producers and popular markets in the two cities of Dar es Salaam (DSM) and Arusha. The High Performing Liquid Chromatographic method was employed to determine level of the toxin in the samples. Aflatoxin was detected in 38 (59.4%) samples, consisted of 21 (70%) Arusha samples (with mean aflatoxin concentration of 11.0 ìg/kg; range: 0.2–23.2 ìg/kg) and 17 (50%) Dar es Salaam samples (mean aflatoxin concentration of 8.4 ìg/kg; range: 2.2–17.5 ìg/kg). Considering the standard limit, 19 samples (30%) had levels above the maximum tolerance limit for total Aflatoxin (10 ìg/
kg). Aflatoxin B1 was detected in 35 samples (55%) with a mean concentration of 1.6 ìg/kg (range: 0.1-10.9). Two samples (3.3%) had AFB1 well beyond the maximum tolerable limit. However, considering the EU limit (0.1ìg/kg), the figure increased to 31 (48%) for all samples, with Arusha leading with 19 samples (63%). The results indicated that the contamination with AFB1 in such a level could pose health problems to consumers. Further studies need to be conducted to assess the multi-occurrence of mycotoxins, exposure of infants to aflatoxins and associated risks of consumption of cereal-based complementary foods in Tanzania.
Keywords: Aflatoxin, Aspergillus, Complementary Foods, Contamination.