Potential of Biological Control of Aflatoxins Causing Organisms in Rice and Maize Value Chains in Pakistan
Babar Ehsan Bajwa, Hamzah Bhatti, Tanveer Ahma, Muhammad Sohail Mazhar

Mycotoxins contamination of cropsposes significant economic losses to both crop producers and traders who give market discounts for the contaminated products.Aflatoxin, being one of the most abundant mycotoxins in everyday food commodities such as rice and maize is of utmost importance due to its hepatotoxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic causing characteristics along with the extensive economic losses caused by aflatoxin contamination.Aflatoxins refer to a group of four mycotoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) produced primarily by two interrelated fungi, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Rice and maize are prone to aflatoxin contamination during the growing, harvesting, storage, transporting and processing stages. Therefore, there is a need to determine the present status of aflatoxin levels in supply chains of rice and maize in Pakistan for making a comparison with the permissible levels set by the food regulatory authorities in a pursuit to ensure safe food supply. Among aflatoxin management methods,biological control appears to be the most promising and sustainable approach(because the non-toxic strains of aflatoxin-causing fungi occupy the same ecological niche as the toxic strains) for control of aflatoxins in both pre- and post- harvest stages of the respective supply chains.Baseline studies need to be conducted on aflatoxins in target agro-climatic regions to improve the supply chain of cereal grains in Pakistan.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v6n2a12