Aflatoxins are the secondary metabolites of Aspergillus flavus
and Aspergillus parasiticus
and are highly toxic and carcinogenic, teratogenic and mutagenic. Ingestion of crops and food contaminated by aflatoxins causes extremely serious harm to human and animal health. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a selective, sensitive and simple method for the determination of aflatoxins. Due to their high performance and multipurpose characteristics, nanomaterials have been developed and applied to the monitoring of various targets, overcoming the limitations of traditional methods, which include process complexity, time-consuming and laborious methodologies and the need for expensive instruments. At the same time, nanomaterials provide general promise for the detection of aflatoxins with high sensitivity, selectivity and simplicity. This review provides an overview of recent developments in nanomaterials employed for the detection of aflatoxins. The basic aspects of aflatoxin toxicity and the significance of aflatoxin detection are also reviewed. In addition, the development of different biosensors and nanomaterials for aflatoxin detection is introduced. The current capabilities and limitations and future challenges in aflatoxin detection and analysis are also addressed.
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