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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1991;30(4):403-39.

Aflatoxins in food: occurrence, biosynthesis, effects on organisms, detection, and methods of control.

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Dept. of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.


Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites produced by species of Aspergilli, specifically Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. These molds are ubiquitous in nature and grow on a variety of substrates, thereby producing aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are of great concern due to their biochemical and biological effects on living organisms. In this article, the occurrence of aflatoxins, their biosynthesis, factors influencing their production, their effects on living organisms, and methods of detection and control in food are reviewed. Future areas of research involving mathematical modeling of factors influencing aflatoxin production and alternative methods of control, such as modified atmosphere packaging, are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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