Advances in Rapid Detection and Reduction of Aflatoxins

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 10297

Special Issue Editors

Research Professor, Geosystems Research Institute, Mississippi State University, Stennis Space Center, Starkville, MS 39529, USA
Interests: remote sensing and engineering solutions for agriculture, post-harvest contamination of aflatoxin, hyperspectral imaging, food safety and contamination detection; algorithm development; instrumentation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Professor, Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
Interests: mycotoxins prevention and control; detoxification and removal of mycotoxins in agro-products; safety evaluation of transgenic agro-products

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Guest Editor
Southern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA/ARS), New Orleans, LA 70124, USA
Interests: host plant resistance; aflatoxins; biotechnology; molecular breeding; pre-& post-harvest contamination; maize; cotton; peanuts
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites produced predominantly by the aflatoxigenic fungal species Aspergillus, including A. flavus, A. parasiticus, and A. nomius. The conducive climate conditions for aflatoxin production are high temperature and high humidity—conditions typically found in tropical and subtropical zones including Southern USA, sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. Plant drought stress and insect damage also exacerbate the occurrence of aflatoxins in temperate zones including Europe, East Asia, South America, and the United States. As a consequence, the aflatoxin contamination of food, feed, and agricultural commodities poses significant economic and health impacts worldwide. Conventional analytical-chemistry-based methods for the quantitative determination of aflatoxins include chromatographic methods such as thin-layer chromatography (TLC), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). These methods require sample preparation and are time-consuming. The goal of this Special Issue is to highlight recent research and development with respect to rapid aflatoxin detection, and regarding the reduction of aflatoxin contamination in food, feed, and commodities infected with aflatoxigenic fungi under post-harvest conditions. Potential topic areas of interest include, but are not limited to, detection by biosensors, spectroscopy, hyperspectral imaging, and electronic nose; detection sensor development; multivariate and artificial intelligence methods; sorting; separation; detoxification; as well as intervention and integrated management strategies. Authors are welcome to submit original research papers and reviews.

Dr. Haibo Yao
Dr. Fuguo Xing
Dr. Kanniah Rajasekaran
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • aflatoxins
  • pre- or post-harvest contamination
  • food and feed safety
  • rapid detection
  • aflatoxin reduction
  • spectral sensing
  • biosensors
  • aflatoxin contamination
  • fungal infection
  • sorting

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 1801 KiB  
Article
A Magnetic Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite: Synthesis, Characterization, and Application for High-Efficiency Detoxification of Aflatoxin B1
by Chushu Zhang, Haixiang Zhou, Shining Cao, Jing Chen, Chunjuan Qu, Yueyi Tang, Mian Wang, Lifei Zhu, Xiaoyue Liu and Jiancheng Zhang
Toxins 2024, 16(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins16010057 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1634
Abstract
(1) Background: Safety problems associated with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination have always been a major threat to human health. Removing AFB1 through adsorption is considered an attractive remediation technique. (2) Methods: To produce an adsorbent with a high AFB [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Safety problems associated with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination have always been a major threat to human health. Removing AFB1 through adsorption is considered an attractive remediation technique. (2) Methods: To produce an adsorbent with a high AFB1 adsorption efficiency, a magnetic reduced graphene oxide composite (Fe3O4@rGO) was synthesized using one-step hydrothermal fabrication. Then, the adsorbent was characterized using a series of techniques, such as SEM, TEM, XRD, FT-IR, VSM, and nitrogen adsorption–desorption analysis. Finally, the effects of this nanocomposite on the nutritional components of treated foods, such as vegetable oil and peanut milk, were also examined. (3) Results: The optimal synthesis conditions for Fe3O4@rGO were determined to be 200 °C for 6 h. The synthesis temperature significantly affected the adsorption properties of the prepared material due to its effect on the layered structure of graphene and the loading of Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The results of various characterizations illustrated that the surface of Fe3O4@rGO had a two-dimensional layered nanostructure with many folds and that Fe3O4 nanoparticles were distributed uniformly on the surface of the composite material. Moreover, the results of isotherm, kinetic, and thermodynamic analyses indicated that the adsorption of AFB1 by Fe3O4@rGO conformed to the Langmuir model, with a maximum adsorption capacity of 82.64 mg·g−1; the rapid and efficient adsorption of AFB1 occurred mainly through chemical adsorption via a spontaneous endothermic process. When applied to treat vegetable oil and peanut milk, the prepared material minimized the loss of nutrients and thus preserved food quality. (4) Conclusions: The above findings reveal a promising adsorbent, Fe3O4@rGO, with favorable properties for AFB1 adsorption and potential for food safety applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rapid Detection and Reduction of Aflatoxins)
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15 pages, 2952 KiB  
Article
Aflatoxin B1 Detoxification Potentials of Garlic, Ginger, Cardamom, Black Cumin, and Sautéing in Ground Spice Mix Red Pepper Products
by Tadewos Hadero Medalcho, Kebede Abegaz, Engida Dessalegn and Juan Mate
Toxins 2023, 15(5), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15050307 - 24 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2403
Abstract
The uses of natural plant origin bioactive compounds are emerging as a promising strategy to detoxify aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). This study aimed to explore the potential of cooking, phytochemicals content, and antioxidant activities derived from garlic, ginger, cardamom, and black cumin to detoxify [...] Read more.
The uses of natural plant origin bioactive compounds are emerging as a promising strategy to detoxify aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). This study aimed to explore the potential of cooking, phytochemicals content, and antioxidant activities derived from garlic, ginger, cardamom, and black cumin to detoxify AFB1 on spice mix red pepper powder (berbere) and sauté. The effectiveness of the samples was analyzed for AFB1 detoxification potential through standard methods for the examination of food and food additives. These major spices showed an AFB1 level below the detection limit. After cooking in hot water for 7 min at 85 ℃, the experimental and commercial spice mix red pepper showed the maximum AFB1 detoxification (62.13% and 65.95%, respectively). Thus, mixing major spices to produce a spice mix red pepper powder had a positive effect on AFB1 detoxification in raw and cooked spice mix red pepper samples. Total phenolic content, total flavonoid content, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, ferric ion reducing antioxidant power, and ferrous ion chelating activity revealed good positive correlation with AFB1 detoxification at p < 0.05. The findings of this study could contribute to mitigation plans of AFB1 in spice-processing enterprises. Further study is required on the mechanism of AFB1 detoxification and safety of the detoxified products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rapid Detection and Reduction of Aflatoxins)
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18 pages, 7902 KiB  
Article
SakA Regulates Morphological Development, Ochratoxin A Biosynthesis and Pathogenicity of Aspergillus westerdijkiae and the Response to Different Environmental Stresses
by Peidong Si, Gang Wang, Wenqing Wu, Sarfaraz Hussain, Ling Guo, Wei Wu, Qingli Yang and Fuguo Xing
Toxins 2023, 15(4), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15040292 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1559
Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA), as a common mycotoxin, has seriously harmful effects on agricultural products, livestock and humans. There are reports on the regulation of SakA in the MAPK pathway, which regulates the production of mycotoxins. However, the role of SakA in the regulation [...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA), as a common mycotoxin, has seriously harmful effects on agricultural products, livestock and humans. There are reports on the regulation of SakA in the MAPK pathway, which regulates the production of mycotoxins. However, the role of SakA in the regulation of Aspergillus westerdijkiae and OTA production is not clear. In this study, a SakA deletion mutant (ΔAwSakA) was constructed. The effects of different concentrations of D-sorbitol, NaCl, Congo red and H2O2 on the mycelia growth, conidia production and biosynthesis of OTA were investigated in A. westerdijkiae WT and ΔAwSakA. The results showed that 100 g/L NaCl and 3.6 M D-sorbitol significantly inhibited mycelium growth and that a concentration of 0.1% Congo red was sufficient to inhibit the mycelium growth. A reduction in mycelium development was observed in ΔAwSakA, especially in high concentrations of osmotic stress. A lack of AwSakA dramatically reduced OTA production by downregulating the expression of the biosynthetic genes otaA, otaY, otaB and otaD. However, otaC and the transcription factor otaR1 were slightly upregulated by 80 g/L NaCl and 2.4 M D-sorbitol, whereas they were downregulated by 0.1% Congo red and 2 mM H2O2. Furthermore, ΔAwSakA showed degenerative infection ability toward pears and grapes. These results suggest that AwSakA is involved in the regulation of fungal growth, OTA biosynthesis and the pathogenicity of A. westerdijkiae and could be influenced by specific environmental stresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rapid Detection and Reduction of Aflatoxins)
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13 pages, 2079 KiB  
Article
A Low-Cost, Portable Device for Detecting and Sorting Aflatoxin-Contaminated Maize Kernels
by Haibo Yao, Fengle Zhu, Russell Kincaid, Zuzana Hruska and Kanniah Rajasekaran
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030197 - 4 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2268
Abstract
Aflatoxin contamination of maize is a major food safety issue worldwide. The problem is of special significance in African countries because maize is a staple food. This manuscript describes a low-cost, portable, non-invasive device for detecting and sorting aflatoxin-contaminated maize kernels. We developed [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin contamination of maize is a major food safety issue worldwide. The problem is of special significance in African countries because maize is a staple food. This manuscript describes a low-cost, portable, non-invasive device for detecting and sorting aflatoxin-contaminated maize kernels. We developed a prototype employing a modified, normalized difference fluorescence index (NDFI) detection method to identify potentially aflatoxin-contaminated maize kernels. Once identified, these contaminated kernels can be manually removed by the user. The device consists of a fluorescence excitation light source, a tablet for image acquisition, and detection/visualization software. Two experiments using maize kernels artificially infected with toxigenic Aspergillus flavus were implemented to evaluate the performance and efficiency of the device. The first experiment utilized highly contaminated kernels (71.18 ppb), while mildly contaminated kernels (1.22 ppb) were used for the second experiment. Evidently, the combined approach of detection and sorting was effective in reducing aflatoxin levels in maize kernels. With a maize rejection rate of 1.02% and 1.34% in the two experiments, aflatoxin reduction was achieved at 99.3% and 40.7%, respectively. This study demonstrated the potential of using this low-cost and non-invasive fluorescence detection technology, followed by manual sorting, to significantly reduce aflatoxin levels in maize samples. This technology would be beneficial to village farmers and consumers in developing countries by enabling safer foods that are free of potentially lethal levels of aflatoxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rapid Detection and Reduction of Aflatoxins)
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17 pages, 2260 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Mushroom Culture Filtrates on the Inhibition of Mycotoxins Produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus carbonarius
by Jelena Loncar, Barbara Bellich, Paola Cescutti, Alice Motola, Marzia Beccaccioli, Slaven Zjalic and Massimo Reverberi
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030177 - 25 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1832
Abstract
Two of the mycotoxins of greatest agroeconomic significance are aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), and ochratoxin A (OTA). It has been reported that extracts from some wood-decaying mushrooms, such as Lentinula edodes and Trametes versicolor showed the ability to inhibit AFB1 [...] Read more.
Two of the mycotoxins of greatest agroeconomic significance are aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), and ochratoxin A (OTA). It has been reported that extracts from some wood-decaying mushrooms, such as Lentinula edodes and Trametes versicolor showed the ability to inhibit AFB1 or OTA biosynthesis. Therefore, in our study, a wide screening of 42 isolates of different ligninolytic mushrooms was assayed for their ability to inhibit the synthesis of OTA in Aspergillus carbonarius and AFB1 in Aspergillus flavus, in order to find a metabolite that can simultaneously inhibit both mycotoxins. The results showed that four isolates produce metabolites able to inhibit the synthesis of OTA, and 11 isolates produced metabolites that inhibited AFB1 by >50%. Two strains, the Trametes versicolor strain TV117 and the Schizophyllum commune strain S.C. Ailanto, produced metabolites able to significantly inhibit (>90%) the synthesis of both mycotoxins. Preliminary results suggest that the mechanism of efficacy of the S. commune rough and semipurified polysaccharides could be analogous to that found previously for Tramesan®, by enhancing the antioxidant response in the target fungal cells. The overall results indicate that S. commune’s polysaccharide(s) could be a potential agent(s) in biological control and/or a useful component of the integrated strategies able to control mycotoxin synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rapid Detection and Reduction of Aflatoxins)
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