The recent awareness of maize sensitivity to Aflatoxins has sent a wave of scare amongst the public.
Interestingly, according to the Department of Agricultural and Life Science, Cornell University, Aflatoxins are one of the most intensively researched mycotoxins in the world and was first established in 1960. However, like with most toxins and diseases, there are precautionary measures that can be employed to protect meals and people from its effects.
WHAT ARE AFLATOXINS?
According to the National Cancer Institute, Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain mould (fungi) that can be are found on agricultural crops such as maize, nuts, spices, chillies, black pepper, dried fruit, figs, cottonseed, and tree nuts.
People can ingest Aflatoxins by eating these contaminated agricultural products or even by consuming meat or dairy products from animals that ate contaminated feed.
Fungi that produce aflatoxins are mainly found in warm and humid regions of the world such as Africa and Asia and exposure can lead to increased food allergic reactions, digestive issues, autoimmune responses, and in more severe cases, liver diseases and cancer.
HOW CAN AFLATOXINS BE CONTROLLED?
How crops are handled, processed and stored play a huge factor in whether or not Aflatoxins survive and thrive. Experts have stated that a couple of precautionary methods that can be employed at different stages from planting to production, storage and processing, to reduce the risk of Aflatoxins. Some of these methods include crop waste removal, control of insect pests and fungal infection, proper irrigation of crops, and correct storage methods etc.
Multiple research studies have also shown that soaking/sprouting/fermenting of grains and nuts are also an effective means of killing Aflatoxins. According to a research published in the Nigerian Journal of Microbiology, fermentation of Maize for 72 hours and above kill Aflatoxins that may have existed in grains.
BUBEZ PAP PRECAUTIONARY METHODS…
With hygiene being at the core of the Bubez brand, our health and safety professionals are constantly reviewing methods that can be employed to ensure the safety of our products.
Bubez Foods employs a handful of relevant measures to protect its grains and products from harmful toxins such as Aflatoxins. Some of these methods include the following:
- All grains brought into our store are checked to ensure that they are void of pests and moulds.
- Our raw material room are decontaminated with ultra-violet rays
- Raw material room is kept completely dry to avoid mould growth on the grains
- Quarterly Fumigation of our Factory and Offices
- Most importantly, our grains are soaked for 3 days and are filtered daily.
It is important to know how the processed products we consume are produced and what precautionary methods have been employed to protect such products from toxins.
It has been said that detoxifying vegetables like carrots and celery reduces the carcinogenic effects of aflatoxins and helps cleanse the liver. As such, adding such vegetables to one’s diet may also be an effective means to control the effect of Aflatoxins.