These are mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus flavus. Groundnuts and grains produced and stored in warm, moist climates are most likely to be affected.
Aflatoxins have cumulative effects. Regular consumption of small concentration of aflatoxine from contaminated grains over long periods of time has been linked to liver cancer. The clinical features are jaundice, ascites, portal hypertension and cirrhosis of liver.
Cotton seed endosperm has pigment glands which contain the toxic pigment gossypol. The gossypol that gets into the oil is largely removed during oil refining.
Last modified: Saturday, 10 December 2011, 5:12 AM