Aflatoxin Levels in Wheat Flour in Afar Region, Northeastern Ethiopia
Aflatoxins are common contaminants in Agricultural commodities including wheat flour which pose a considerable risk to human health and have significant economic implications. The objective of this study was to determine the level of aflatoxin concentrations in wheat flour samplesat vendors and wholesalers from Logia-Samara, Dubti and Assaita town, Northeastern Ethiopia. A total of 60 flour samples were collected and analyzed for aflatoxin contamination using an ELISA test. Of the total 60 samples, aflatoxin was detected in 51, ranging from 1 ppb to 25 ppb. Aflatoxin concentrations were above 15 ppb in 65% of the positive samples collected from wholesalers in Assaita town. Moisture content and aflatoxin levels of flour samples were positively correlated (r = 0.917) and significant (p ≤ 0.05). This study identified heavy aflatoxin contamination in wheat flour beyond the maximum tolerable level by the CODEX (15 ppb). Therefore, the negative impacts of aflatoxin on health, and aflatoxin contamination should be considered in future programs. We suggest improvements be made to post-harvest management (proper drying, sorting, and storage) to reduce the level of aflatoxin contamination of wheat flour at vendors and wholesalers.
Keywords:Afar region, Aflatoxin, ELISA, Ethiopia, Wheat flour
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