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Mycotoxin Res. 2012 Feb;28(1):17-23. doi: 10.1007/s12550-011-0112-9. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Mycotoxins in South African foods: a case study on aflatoxin M1 in milk.

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Food, Environment and Health Research Group, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Doornfontein, 2028, Gauteng, South Africa.


The contamination of cow's milk at the farm level with aflatoxin M1 was investigated in South Africa. Samples of feeds, forage, maize and milk were taken at nine dairy farms, and at the same time samples of the processed milk (retail milk) were collected from the respective dairies to which the farms delivered their milk. The feeds were analysed for aflatoxin B1 and the milk samples for aflatoxin M1 using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and fluorescence detection. All milk samples from the dairy farms were positive for aflatoxin M1, ranging from 0.02 μg/l to 1.5 μg/l. Retail milk was also frequently contaminated with AFM1, at levels of 0.01-3.1 μg/l. High AFB1 levels in feed materials on the farms supplying the raw milk indicate that various sources account for this contamination frequency in milk.

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