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Open AccessAbstract

Effect of Photosensitization on Inactivation of Aspergillus flavus in Maize

School of Agriculture and Food Science, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4067, Australia
Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Engineering, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo 1102, Mozambique
Centre for Food Science and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, Coopers Plains, QLD 4108, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019), Brisbane, Australia, 11–13 November 2019.
Proceedings 2019, 36(1), 116;
Published: 5 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of The Third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019))
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain types of fungi that
contaminate food and feed, posing serious health risks to human and livestock. Photosensitization
is a light-based technique, which has emerged as a novel and promising green technology to control
microbial growth in food and feed. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of solvent medium
including ethanol (EtOH), 50% (v/v) propylene glycol (PG), 20 % (v/v) tween 20 (TW-20), and 20 %
(v/v) tween 80 (TW-80), on curcumin-mediated photosensitization to inactivate Aspergillus flavus
spores in vitro and on the surface of yellow and white maize kernel and flour. Results showed a
reduction in the phototoxic activity of curcumin in TW-20 and TW-80. However, curcumin-based
photosensitization using EtOH and PG as solvents led to a significant decrease in the colony forming
ability of A. flavus spores in vitro, up to 2.04 and 3.33 log colony-forming unit (CFU), respectively.
Interestingly, fungal growth was delayed in photosensitized maize kernel and flour for 14 and 7
days, respectively, which were stored at 25 °C. Consequently, no Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) was detected
in maize kernels after 20 days of storage at 25 °C, whereas accumulation of the toxin was reduced
by 91% in photosensitized flour. Thus, photosensitization showed to be a potential alternative to
reduce A. flavus contamination on maize kernel and flour, giving rise to low concentrations of AFB1.
This technique has the potential for use in feed applications resulting in the reduction of postharvest
losses in maize.
Keywords: curcumin; maize; mycotoxins; photosensitization curcumin; maize; mycotoxins; photosensitization
MDPI and ACS Style

Nguenha, R.; Seidi Damyeh, M.; T. Hong, H.; Sultanbawa, Y. Effect of Photosensitization on Inactivation of Aspergillus flavus in Maize. Proceedings 2019, 36, 116.

AMA Style

Nguenha R, Seidi Damyeh M, T. Hong H, Sultanbawa Y. Effect of Photosensitization on Inactivation of Aspergillus flavus in Maize. Proceedings. 2019; 36(1):116.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nguenha, Rafael; Seidi Damyeh, Maral; T. Hong, Hung; Sultanbawa, Yasmina. 2019. "Effect of Photosensitization on Inactivation of Aspergillus flavus in Maize" Proceedings 36, no. 1: 116.

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