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Toxins 2019, 11(3), 140;

Metal Ions in Activated Carbon Improve the Detection Efficiency of Aflatoxin-Producing Fungi

Division of Food Biotechnology, Food Research Institute, NARO, 2-1-12 Kannon-dai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8642, Japan
Food and Agricultural Materials Inspection Center (FAMIC), 2-1 Shin-toshin, Chuo, Saitama, Saitama 330-9731, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
PDF [1325 KB, uploaded 2 March 2019]


Aflatoxins (AF), produced by several Aspergillus species, are visible under ultraviolet light if present in high amounts. AF detection can be improved by adding activated carbon, which enhances the observation efficiency of weakly AF-producing fungi. However, commercial activated carbon products differ in their characteristics, making it necessary to investigate which characteristics affect method reproducibility. Herein, the addition of 10 activated carbon products resulted in different AF production rates in each case. The differences in the production of aflatoxin G1 (AFG1) were roughly correlated to the observation efficiency in the plate culture. Trace element analysis showed that the concentrations of several metal ions differed by factors of >100, and the carbons that most effectively increased AFG1 production contained higher amounts of metal ions. Adding 5 mg L−1 Fe or Mg ions increased AFG1 production even without activated carbon. Furthermore, co-addition of both ions increased AFG1 production stably with the addition of carbon. When varying the concentration of additives, only AFG1 production increased in a concentration-dependent manner, while the production of all the other AFs decreased or remained unchanged. These findings suggest that a key factor influencing AF production is the concentration of several metal ions in activated carbon and that increasing AFG1 production improves AF detectability. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aflatoxin; fluorescence; activated carbon; metal ion; detection Aflatoxin; fluorescence; activated carbon; metal ion; detection

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Suzuki, T.; Toyoda, M. Metal Ions in Activated Carbon Improve the Detection Efficiency of Aflatoxin-Producing Fungi. Toxins 2019, 11, 140.

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