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Aflatoxin Binders in Foods for Human Consumption—Can This be Promoted Safely and Ethically?

Department of Biosciences, International Livestock Research Institute, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Department of Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
School of Biological Sciences, University of Nairobi, P. O. Box 30197, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
International Livestock Research Institute, 298 Kim Ma Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 582, 75123 Uppsala, Sweden
Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7054, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(7), 410;
Received: 2 June 2019 / Revised: 6 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 14 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in Feed and Food Chain: Present Status and Future Concerns)
Aflatoxins continue to be a food safety problem globally, especially in developing regions. A significant amount of effort and resources have been invested in an attempt to control aflatoxins. However, these efforts have not substantially decreased the prevalence nor the dietary exposure to aflatoxins in developing countries. One approach to aflatoxin control is the use of binding agents in foods, and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been studied extensively for this purpose. However, when assessing the results comprehensively and reviewing the practicality and ethics of use, risks are evident, and concerns arise. In conclusion, our review suggests that there are too many issues with using LAB for aflatoxin binding for it to be safely promoted. Arguably, using binders in human food might even worsen food safety in the longer term. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aflatoxins; binding; food safety; biocontrol; food discipline Aflatoxins; binding; food safety; biocontrol; food discipline
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Ahlberg, S.; Randolph, D.; Okoth, S.; Lindahl, J. Aflatoxin Binders in Foods for Human Consumption—Can This be Promoted Safely and Ethically? Toxins 2019, 11, 410.

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