Occurrence of Fungi and Mycotoxins in Some Commercial Baby Foods in North Africa


Aflatoxins, are one of over 200 known mycotoxins produced by filamentous fungi. They are toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic and may be present in many raw and processed food commodities including cereals and milk used as ingredients in infant food products. Consumption of these commodities may pose a potential risk to the health of infants. The mycoflora of 84 samples of baby food commercially available in North Africa was determined. The feeds were screened for mycotoxins using thin layer chromatography (TLC) and further analyses were carried for the total aflatoxins by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) using a Kobra cell to derivatise the aflatoxins (B1, G1, B2 and G2). Twenty-four fungal isolates were recovered from the samples consisting of 5 Aspergillus. spp, 13 Penicillum. spp, 5 Mucor. spp and an unidentified species Of these, 45.8% of the isolates were found to be mycotoxigenic however only 2.4% of the samples contained aflatoxins (19 to 70 µg·kg–1) and the remaining contained undetectable levels of the toxin. Storage at elevated relative humidity for 7 days showed a slight increase in the fungal counts but the toxin levels were unaffected. The results show the importance of periodic testing regime of ingredients used infant food formula for the presence of fungal contamination.

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K. Aidoo, S. Mohamed, A. Candlish, R. Tester and A. Elgerbi, "Occurrence of Fungi and Mycotoxins in Some Commercial Baby Foods in North Africa," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 7, 2011, pp. 751-758. doi: 10.4236/fns.2011.27103.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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