Anticipating the Dangers of Mycotoxins


Mycotoxin is an organic compound of secondary metabolic yeast (mold). In maize contaminated by Aspergillus flavus aflatoxin producer. Aflatoxin is a small molecule, insoluble in water, stable with various processing processes.

Post-harvest handling of agricultural materials as well as cereals and beans needs to be done well. Less dry grains (with water content 12%), will be overgrown by various types of fungi that potentially produce mycotoxins. Aflatoxin has a non-polar, heat-stable bifuran compound and is resistant to both physical and chemical treatment.

With these properties, aflatoxin that has contaminated the food is difficult to remove. Even aflatoxin B1 that contaminates the feed and consumed dairy cow also does not disappear altogether but turns into aflatoxin M1 that appears in milk that has a toxicity similar to aflatoxin B1. Accumulation of toxins in human or livestock bodies has hepatotoxic effects (liver damage), hepatocarcinogenic (liver cancer), mutagenic, teratogenic, or immunosuppressive.

Regulation About Mycotoxins

Regulations on the maximum aflatoxin limits in food products. It was mentioned that the maximum limit of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) aflatoxin and total aflatoxin products based on peanuts and maize respectively were 20 ppb and total aflatoxin 35 ppb. Dairy products have a maximum limit of aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) 0.5 ppb. Aflatoxin that contaminates milk comes from the conversion of aflatoxin B1 in feed to aflatoxin M1.

includes 5 types of aflatoxin, deoxynivalenol, fumonisisn, okratoksin A, and patulin are being made. Especially for aflatoxin contamination, the maximum limit assigned to various food products ie on peanut and its processed products and corn and its processed products is 20 ppb for AFB1 and 35 ppb for total aflatoxin, and in milk and its processed products is 0.5 ppb for AFM1.In fact, however, existing data indicate that Indonesian agricultural commodities, ie peanuts, and maize, are polluted by aflatoxin, and even aflatoxin contamination in both commodities circulating in the market much exceeds the established maximum.

Mycotoxin not only attacks plants but can attack farm animals. At levels exceeding the threshold, mycotoxin will attack the immune system (immunosupresive). The ultimate goal is the organs that support the body’s endurance such as Thymus, Limphogandulae and Bursa Fabricoius.

 Immune decline is closely related to the effectiveness of the vaccination program and the efficacy of drug delivery as therapy. As a result, livestock tend to be more sensitive to infections from outside. Of the various types of mycotoxin available, some of the most commonly associated with farms are Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin, Trichothecen, Fumonisin, Zearelonone and Citrinin.

As is the case with chicken livestock consuming an aflatoxin contaminated diet of 20 ppb or more showing clinical symptoms of decreased appetite, a watery stool, anemia, easy bleeding under the skin, easily infected with other diseases, fewer increases in daily mortality and stunted growth.

While on the layer, aflatoxin can lead to decreased production and egg weight. In pathology, avian infected birds will experience enlarged liver and spleen. Inflammation and swelling of the duodenum. The liver looks pale due to accumulation of fat and spleen-shaped bleeding. Lymphoid tissue (fabricious and thymic bursa) shrinks.

Kidney and gall bladder usually enlarges and intestinal bleeding occurs. Fat in ampela (cacol) and other body fat is excessive. In chronic cases, the liver is smaller, harder and there is a nodule containing bile sap.