Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites produced by certain species of Aspergillus, i.e., A. flavus, A. parasiticus, and the rare A. nomius, during their growth under favorable conditions of temperature and humidity. Aflatoxins are highly toxic compounds, which can cause acute and chronic toxicity in humans and animals. The incidence of aflatoxins in foods and feeds is relatively high in tropical and subtropical regions, where the warm and humid weather provides optimal condition for the growth of molds. As aflatoxins are very heat stable and cannot be easily eliminated by domestic cooking, rapid drying of agricultural products to reduce their moisture content is important, as this can avoid the favorable conditions for the growth of fungi.
Aflatoxin B1 is the most potent naturally occurring liver carcinogen. It is classified as a Class 1 carcinogen by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. As a result, it is believed that aflatoxins are responsible for up to 28 per cent of all liver cancer cases.
India is the world’s largest exporter of rice, the cropwhich is mainly grown in a humid and tropical climate – an effective breeding haven for aflatoxin-causing fungi called Aspergillus. Often, harvested rice is stored in wet conditions, exposing it even more to Aspergillus. In a study conducted, Aspergillus contamination was detected in all rice samples collected from areas exposed to rain or flood, or stored in warehouses or mills. Climate change only makes the problem of aflatoxin worse.
The impact of Aflatoxindoesn’t stop at causing cancer. The contaminated foodhas been also associated with stunted growth in children, and childhood cirrhosis in India. Stunting in early life has huge adverse effects. One in four children under five suffers from this tragic conditionin India.
Scientists have been working hard to conquer aflatoxin menacebut haven’t been successful yet. In developed countries, laws limit the parts-per-billion (ppb) of aflatoxins in food for humans, livestock and pets. These laws are enforced by extensive – and expensive – monitoring processes and technology. As a result, the burden to eradicate aflatoxin falls primarily on the developing world. Developing countries often have low health-care budgets, subsistence agriculture, and small-scale, under-regulated food production businesses. Often, limits are set, but not enforced. Consistently over the past 50 years, most food and feed samples in these countries have been found to be well above legal aflatoxin limits.
The harm doesn’t stop atanimal and human health only. It’s also a massive trade and economic issueas well in the food /feedindustry.Proper Drying technology is an important operationthat can preserve grain and lower losses during storage.
By using grain drying technology like Rice Husk Furnace Aflatoxinproduction in fresh grains and other feeds/foods can be prevented. If grains are not dried immediately while they are fresh, Alfatoxin will easily incur. Alfatoxin can survive at 280 °Celsius, and it’s toxic as 10 times as Potassium cyanide (KCN) and 68 times as Arsenic, andcan cause cancer to humans & livestock.
Grains harvested at high moisture content, if not dried immediately, would sprout and mildew, or even produce Alfatoxin. The grain quality gets reduced, causing food safety issues, and losing economic values completely.
The most crucial technology that influences grain quality and selling rate depends up on if the grains are dried timely& evenly with the specialized drying technology. If grain quality is poor, the loss will be enormous. Hence, only by off-the-ground production (combine harvest and delivered to modern drying complex) can it produce the highest quality grains,with reduced wastage and safer feed/food for animal and human consumption. All this can result in increasing farmers’ profit and letting our people consumesafe and healthy foods.
The technology is available with Suncue which can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Leon Lin, Suncue