Iranian researchers from Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, proposed a new, simple and cost-efficient method to determine toxic fungal species existing in foodstuff.
Results of the research enable the execution of quick and exact quality control tests in foodstuff industries and controlling and supervising organizations such as Food and Drug Organization.
There exist at the moment more than 300 types of mycotoxins, toxic materials created by various fungi, which grow on a wide range of foodstuff and feed of livestock. Aflatoxin is considered a real threat to the society’s health due to its high toxicity.
Aflatoxins grow in warm and humid climates and are usually found in rice, barley, corn, pistachio, chestnut, cottonseed and peanuts. The four common and important types of aflatoxin produced in agricultural food products are B1, B2, G1, and G2. Pistachio is among the most important agricultural products, which is threatened by aflatoxins, and it has very important role in export and economy.
In this research, a new, simple and cheap method was used for the extraction and pre-concentration of aflatoxins in pistachio samples. The method is based on liquid-liquid micro-extraction by using a solvent lighter than water and by using modified magnetic nanoparticles. Equipment measurement has been carried out through the sensitive but cheap method of chromatography by increasing and modifying the fluorescence of aflatoxins.
Among other achievements of the research, mention can be made of reduction of costs through the elimination of disposable and expensive purification columns and chromatography devices, increasing the rate of analysis, and decreasing the pollution caused by organic solvents, specially the lack of the consumption of solvents heavier than water in micro-extraction process.