Traders’ awareness and level of aflatoxins in human foods and cattle feeds in selected markets and stores in Nairobi County, Kenya
Nyangaga, Dinah Kwamboka
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Aflatoxins are a group of structurally related mycotoxin compounds produced by Aspergillus fungi that grow on wide variety of grains and groundnuts. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring carcinogenic substances. High level of aflatoxins exposure has been shown to cause acute aflatoxicosis in human and animals. Cases of aflatoxicosis have been reported among people living in Kenya‟s Makueni, Kitui and Machakos counties due to aflatoxin contaminated maize. The main objective of this study was qualitative and quantitative analysis of aflatoxin in processed and non- processed human foods and cattle feeds sold in open air markets and AGROVET stores in Nairobi County respectively. Twenty seven AGROVET stores in the eight divisions in Nairobi County were selected using simple random sampling procedure. Major open air food markets were selected based on size. A total of 54 dairy cattle feed and 96 human food samples of each 250g were collected. The questionnaire was used to determine the traders‟ awareness of aflatoxin contamination and effects of aflatoxins in food and feeds in relation to health. For detection and quantification of aflatoxins, ELISA technique was used. ELISA machine and Special software the RIDA® SOFT win (Art No. Z9999) was used for obtaining aflatoxin concentration in parts per billion (ppb). Data obtained was analyzed using Statistical packages for social sciences (SSPS). The data is presented in figures and tables. Descriptive statistics was used to obtain mean level of each sample type in parts per billion. T-test was used to compare aflatoxins levels in processed and non-processed foods and feeds. The results show that 56.6 % of the traders were aware of aflatoxin contamination. Cattle feed traders were more aware of aflatoxin (40 %) than human food traders (17 %). Training on handling and storage of foods and feeds creates more awareness. Half of the traders were aware of proper storage foods and feeds. A very small portion of food traders (3.7 %) feed traders (8 %) were aware of health effects in human and animals respectively. The mean levels of aflatoxins in foods within open air markets and feeds in AGROVETS stores were above recommended maximum limit (20ppb). Non-processed maize (49.7±14.7), unpolished rice (38.2±10.5) and groundnuts (54.6±14.8) processed feeds; maize flour (101.2±21.3), polished rice (63.9±14.5) and groundnuts flour (120.9±27.2). Higher aflatoxin levels were detected in processed foods (95±12.7) than in non-processed foods (47.5±7.6). Grain related foods in open air market and cattle feeds in AGROVETS are contaminated. Therefore, there is need to create traders awareness of aflatoxin contamination, its effect and poor practices that contribute to aflatoxin contamination. Improve storage facilities and give guidelines to proper storage within open air market. To assess foods what enter the market in regard to aflatoxin contamination in order to curb spread of aflatoxin. Strengthen nationwide surveillance, increase food inspection in market areas and feeds in AGROVETS to ensure their safety. Research to be done on other foods sold in open air market other than maize, rice and groundnuts and also on the association of food related aflatoxin and raising cancer rate.
- MST-Zoological Sciences