Dietary Risk Assessment and Consumer Awareness of Mycotoxins among Household Consumers of Cereals, Nuts and Legumes in North-Central Nigeria

Chibundu N. Ezekiel*, Kolawole I. Ayeni, Muiz O. Akinyemi, Michael Sulyok, Oluwawapelumi A. Oyedele, Daniel A. Babalola, Isaac M. Ogara, Rudolf Krska

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This study characterized the health risks due to the consumption of mycotoxin-contaminated foods and assessed the consumer awareness level of mycotoxins in households in two north-central Nigerian states during the harvest and storage seasons of 2018. Twenty-six mycotoxins and 121 other microbial and plant metabolites were quantified by LC-MS/MS in 250 samples of cereals, nuts and legumes. Aflatoxins were detected in all food types (cowpea, maize, peanut and sorghum) except in millet. Aflatoxin B1 was the most prevalent mycotoxin in peanut (64%) and rice (57%), while fumonisin B1 occurred most in maize (93%) and beauvericin in sorghum (71%). The total aflatoxin concentration was highest in peanut (max: 8422 µg/kg; mean: 1281 µg/kg) and rice (max: 955 µg/kg; mean: 94 µg/kg), whereas the totals of the B-type fumonisins and citrinin were highest in maize (max: 68,204 µg/kg; mean: 2988 µg/kg) and sorghum (max: 1335 µg/kg; mean: 186 µg/kg), respectively. Citrinin levels also reached 51,195 µg/kg (mean: 2343 µg/kg) in maize. Aflatoxin and citrinin concentrations in maize were significantly (p 0.05) higher during storage than at harvest. The estimated chronic exposures to aflatoxins, citrinin and fumonisins were high, resulting in as much as 247 new liver cancer cases/year/100,000 population and risks of nephrotoxicity and esophageal cancer, respectively. Children who consumed the foods were the most vulnerable. Mycotoxin co-occurrence was evident, which could increase the health risk of the outcomes. Awareness of mycotoxin issues was generally low among the households.
Original languageEnglish
Article number635
JournalToxins
Volume13
Issue number9
Early online date09 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • cereals
  • consumer awareness
  • exposure assessment
  • food safety
  • harvest
  • mycotoxins
  • storage

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