Friday, July 23, 2021

Aflatoxin M1

Aflatoxins are mycotoxins of major concern to the dairy industry. Several types of aflatoxin (14 or more) occur in nature, but four – aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2 are particularly dangerous to humans and animals as they have been found in all major food crops; but most human exposure comes from contaminated nuts, grains and their derived products.

Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a mycotoxin from Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, classified as carcinogenic and hepatotoxic. Aflatoxin M1 is a hydroxylated metabolite of AFB1, that is excreted in milk in the mammary glands of both humans and lactating animals.

Approximately 0.3% to 6.2% of the ingested AFB1 is converted to the monohydroxy derivative aflatoxin M1 in the liver of lactating animals, by the action of cytochrome P 450, and is secreted in the urine and milk of the cow. Aflatoxin M1 excreted in milk, depending on factors such as the genetics of the animals, seasonal variation, the milking process and the environmental conditions.

Even though it is less toxic than AFB1, AFM1 has hepatotoxic and carcinogenic effects, and is relatively stable during milk pasteurization, storage, and processing.

Milk that is sold commercially is checked for aflatoxin M1. When aflatoxin M1 is found at concentrations of 0.5 parts per billion (ppb) or greater, the milk is discarded because it cannot be used for products that go into the human food supply.

Studies have shown that the presence of AFM1 in milk and milk products is a health issue because in many countries, every age group regularly consumed these products in their daily diet. It has been verified that they can initiate and advance liver, lung, and colon cancer.

It may contaminate other dairy products, such as cheese, yoghurt, and may generate health concerns for consumers.
Aflatoxin M1

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