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Aflatoxin B1 Contamination in Wheat Grain Samples Collected from Different Geographical Regions of India: A Multicenter Study

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In a multicenter study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research, 1,646 samples of wheat grain collected from rural and urban areas of 10 states representing different geographical regions of India were analyzed for aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). AFB1 concentrations of ≥5 μg kg−1 were recorded in 40.3% of the samples, and concentrations above the Indian permissible regulatory limit of 30 μg kg−1 were found in 16% of the samples. The proportion of samples with AFB1 concentrations above the Indian regulatory limit ranged from 1.7 to 55.8% in different states, with the minimum in Haryana and the maximum in Orissa. The variation in wheat contamination among states seems to be mainly the result of unsatisfactory storage conditions. Median AFB1 concentrations of 11, 18, and 32 μg kg−1 were observed in samples from Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Orissa, respectively; concentrations in other states were <5 μg kg−1. The maximum AFB1 concentration of 606 μg kg−1 was observed in a sample from the state of Uttar Pradesh. The calculated probable daily intakes of AFB1 through consumption of contaminated wheat for the population in some states were much higher than the suggested provisional maximum tolerable daily intake. Human health hazards associated with such AFB1 exposure over time cannot be ruled out.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Central Coordinating Unit, Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi 110029, India 2: T. M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur, India 3: Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, India 4: Central Food Laboratory, Kolkata, India

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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