Concerns about food safety are escalating globally, particularly in developed countries where food safety issues influence consumer perceptions and policies with respect to food production, processing, handling and trade. In developing countries, health risks from food and water-borne diseases are a major food-safety concern (Unnevehr, 2003). However, with the quest by developing countries for a larger share of the global food trade and the desire to earn the necessary income for development, attention is now being paid to food safety issues. The contamination of food and feed by mycotoxins (toxic metabolites of fungi) are recognized as significant sources of food-borne illnesses (FAO, 2004), and top priority has been given to their regulation in food and feed at the domestic and international levels.

Mycotoxins that pose major health risks include aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol, fumonisins, ochratoxins and ergot alkaloids (Detroy et al., 1971; Table 1). Among the mycotoxins, afla-toxins raise the most concern. Aflatoxin B1 is a potent mycotoxin that is distributed widely, of© CAB International 2008. Mycotoxins: Detection Methods, Management, Public Health - 359 -and Agricultural Trade (eds. J. F. Leslie et al.).

Table 1. Major toxigenic fungi, their toxic metabolites, target effects and methods used for mycotoxin detection.

Toxigenic fungi


Toxic effects


Analytical Method

Aspergillus flavus


Acute toxicity

Cereals, nuts,



(B1, B2, G1,

(especially to the

spices, dried



G2, M1 and

liver), liver can

fish, feed, tea,

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