MEASUREMENT OF AFLATOXIN B1 LEVELS IN HOME MADE WEANIMIX FROM THE EJURA- SEKYEDUMASE DISTRICT IN THE ASHANTI REGION OF GHANA
Abstract: Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins produced mainly by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Four important types of aflatoxins are AFB1, AFG1, AFB2 and AFG2 in order of decreasing toxicity on animal and human health. A cross-sectional study, conducted in Ejura Sekyedumase District in the Ashanti Region of Ghana shows highaflatoxin contaminationin groundnuts and maize which form homemade weanimix (a nutritional supplement for infants and children) is prepared.
The aim wasto determine the levels of Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in homemade weanimix fed to infants in the Ejura Sekyedumase District in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
Thirty six samples of weanimix were collected from households from three different communities (Hiawoanwu, Ejura town and Dromankuma) in the district.
AFB1 was detected in all 36 samples collected with a range of 7.9-500ppb.
·Majority of the home made weanimix samples (33 out of 36,83.3%) were highly contaminated with the mycotoxin aflatoxin (mean 145.5ppb AFB1) in the Ejura Sekyedumase District of the Ashanti Region.
·Children fed on home made weanimix in the district were exposed to unacceptable levels of AFB1 and in danger of negative health effects of aflatoxicosis.
·Therefore there is a critical need for continuous education of mothers on the dangers of aflatoxin exposure and to develop an economically feasible strategy to prevent aflatoxicosis in children fed on the homemade weanimix.
Funding: The Peanut Collaborative Research Support Grant TAM 149 USAID.