Aflatoxins - finding solutions for improved food safety

Aflatoxins are a naturally occurring carcinogenic byproduct of common fungi on grains and other crops, particularly maize and groundnuts. They pose a significant public health risk in many tropical developing countries and are also a barrier to the growth of domestic and international commercial markets for food and feed. In recent years the aflatoxin problem has garnered greatly increased attention from both policy and donor communities around the globe.

What can be done to reduce the detrimental impacts of aflatoxins? Because growth of the molds that produce aflatoxins is caused by multiple factors, and because they must be controlled along the entire value chain from production to consumption, only a robust multifaceted approach to controlling aflatoxins is likely to be effective.

The nineteen briefs in this set thus provide different perspectives on aflatoxin risks and solutions. The analyses fall under four broad themes: (1) what is known about the health risks from aflatoxins; (2) how to overcome market constraints to improved aflatoxin control by building new market channels and incentives; (3) what is the international policy context for taking action in developing countries; and (4) what is the state of research on new aflatoxin control technologies, including new methods for aflatoxin detection, crop breeding, biological control, food storage and handling, and postharvest mitigation.

These briefs collectively provide a much clearer picture of the state of current efforts at combatting aflatoxins. They also identify what gaps loom particularly large—including the need for contry-specific risk analysis and for testing integrated solutions for the entire supply chain—in our global efforts to effectively reduce human exposure to aflatoxins and increase the economic returns to smallholders in agriculture.

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Table of Contents and Introduction
1. Tackling Aflatoxins: An Overview of Challenges and Solutions
Laurian Unnevehr and Delia Grace
2. Aflatoxicosis: Evidence from Kenya
Abigael Obura
3. Aflatoxin Exposure and Chronic Human Diseases: Estimates of Burden of Disease
Felicia Wu
4. Child Stunting and Aflatoxins
Jef L. Leroy
5. Animals and Aflatoxins
Delia Grace
6. Managing Mycotoxin Risks in the Food Industry: The Global Food Security Link
David Crean
7. Farmer Perceptions of Aflatoxins: Implications for Intervention in Kenya
Sophie Walker and Bryn Davies
8. Market-led Aflatoxin Interventions: Smallholder Groundnut Value Chains in Malawi
Andrew Emmott
9. Aflatoxin Management in the World Food Programme through P4P Local Procurement
Stéphane Méaux, Eleni Pantiora, and Sheryl Schneider
10. Reducing Aflatoxins in Africa’s Crops: Experiences from the Aflacontrol Project
Clare Narrod
11. Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions to Reduce Aflatoxin Risk
Felicia Wu
12. Trade Impacts of Aflatoxin Standards
Devesh Roy
13. Codex Standards: A Global Tool for Aflatoxin Management
Renata Clarke and Vittorio Fattori
14. The Role of Risk Assessment in Guiding Aflatoxin Policy
Delia Grace and Laurian Unnevehr
15. Mobilizing Political Support: Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa
Amare Ayalew, Wezi Chunga, and Winta Sintayehu
16. Biological Controls for Aflatoxin Reduction
Ranajit Bandyopadhyay and Peter J. Cotty
17. Managing Aflatoxin Contamination of Maize: Developing Host Resistance
George Mahuku, Marilyn L. Warburton, Dan Makumbi, and Felix San Vicente
18. Reducing Aflatoxins in Groundnuts through Integrated Management and Biocontrol
Farid Waliyar, Moses Osiru, Hari Kishan Sudini, and Samuel Njoroge
19. Improving Diagnostics for Aflatoxin Detection
Jagger Harvey, Benoit Gnonlonfin, Mary Fletcher, Glen Fox, Stephen Trowell, Amalia Berna, Rebecca Nelson, and Ross Darnell
References

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Author: 
Unnevehr, Laurian (ed)
Grace, Delia (ed)
Published date: 
2013
Publisher: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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