Present status and future perspectives of grain drying and storage practices as a means to reduce mycotoxin exposure in Nigeria

Kolawole I. Ayeni, Olusegun O. Atanda, Rudolf Krska, Chibundu N. Ezekiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cereals, legumes and nuts are widely produced and consumed in Nigeria. Despite the availability of these food crops, their safety is often compromised by the presence of mycotoxins. In Nigeria, mixtures of several mycotoxins, including the highly carcinogenic aflatoxins together with fumonisins, ochratoxins and the trichothecenes, commonly co-occur in cereals and nuts than in legumes, thus, posing serious health risks to consumers. Physical interventions such as hand-sorting, cleaning/washing and other simple control measures (e.g., winnowing) could be effective to reduce mycotoxin exposures especially in resource-scarce rural areas. However, food crops are frequently stored prior to or after applying these measures. Hence, if storage conditions are inappropriate, other intervention strategies may fail due to increased accumulation of mycotoxins under poor storage. Moreover, poor storage practices may encourage infestation by insects and pests that can cause grain damage leading to contamination by toxigenic fungi. In addition, the market value of such grains will be adversely affected and this can contribute to economic loss and poverty at household level. This review provides data on mycotoxin contamination of grains in Nigeria, mycotoxins in biological fluids, and showcases various poor grain storage practices. Furthermore, viable alternatives for improved grain storage, which can be applied in Nigeria, were suggested as a means to reduce mycotoxin exposure and to safeguard consumer health.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108074
JournalFood Control
Volume126
Early online date15 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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