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Aflatoxins (AF) affect almost everything we eat


A Two-day training on Aflatoxins Management and Control is underway at Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute, from January 16-17/2018.

Dr Firew Tafesse, made his presentations on aflatoxins and their impacts as well as the current situations of aflatoxins in Ethiopia. Among the issues he talked were mycotoxins, aflatoxins and their impacts, as well as aflatoxins prevention and biological control strategies.

Some of the concept and key points: Aflatoxins are one of many natural occurring mycotoxins that are found in soils, foods, humans, and animals. Derived from the Aspergillus flavus fungus, the toxigenic strains of aflatoxins are among the most harmful mycotoxins. Aflatoxins are found in the soil as well as in grains, nuts, dairy products, tea, spices and cocoa, as well as animal and fish feeds Aflatoxins are especially problematic in hot, dry climates (+/- 30 to 40 degrees latitude), and their prevalence is exacerbated by drought, pests, delayed harvest, insufficient drying and poor postharvest handling. Exposure to foods contaminated with high levels of aflatoxins can cause immediate death to humans and animals. Chronic high levels lead to a gradual deterioration of health through liver damage and immune suppression. Therefore, by EBTi initiated intervention projects to reduce aflatoxin contamination in food and feed stuff, biological and different physical methods are being employed.

Dr Birhan Addisie, told to our press news that, application of biological and other physical methods for reducing and preventing aflatoxins were major points of discussion and this will be accompanied by Laboratory Visit and demonstration activities.

It is noticed that Participant from Agricultural Biotechnology, Industrial biotechnology, Nanotechnology and Material science Departments were attending the training.