Production of aflatoxin by Aspergillus parasiticus and its control
The aim of the present work was to investigate aflatoxin levels in various food commodities and to study its production by Aspergillus parasiticus in culture to find out the possible ways to control it. Of 40 food samples collected from Abha region, Saudi Arabia, only 25% were contaminated with aflatoxins. Oil-rich commodities had the highly contaminated commodities by fungi and aflatoxins while spices were free from afatoxins. The optimal pH for the growth of A. parasiticus and its productivity of aflatoxin B, was found at 6.0, while the best incubation conditions were found at 30°C for 10 days. D-glucose was the best carbon source for fungal growth, as well as aflatoxin production. Corn steep liquor, yeast extract and peptone were the best nitrogen sources for both fungal growth and toxin production. (NH4)2HPO4 (1.55 gL-1) and NaNO2 (1.6 gL-1) reduced fungal growth and toxin production with 37.7% and 85%, respectively. Of ten amino acids tested, asparagine was the best for aflatoxin B, production. Zn2+ and Co2+ supported significantly both fungal growth, as well as aflatoxin B, production at the different tested concentrations. Zn2+ was effective when added to A. parasiticus growth medium at the first two days of the culture age. The other tested metal ions gave variable effects depending on the type of ion and its concentration. Water activity (a ) was an important factor controlling the growth of A. parasiticus and toxin production. The minimum aW for the fungal growth was 0.8 on both coffee beans and rice grains, while aW, of 0.70 caused complete inhibition for the growth and aflatoxin B, production. H202 is a potent inhibitor for growth of A. parasiticus and its productivity of toxins. Incubation with NaHCO3 and C6H5000Na converted aflatoxin B, to a water-soluble form which returned to aflatoxin B, by acid treatment. Black pepper, ciliated heath, cuminum and curcuma were the most inhibitory spices on toxin production. Glutathione, quinine, EDTA, sodium azide, indole acetic acid, 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid, phenol and catechol were inhibitory for both growth, as well as, aflatoxin B, production. Stearic acid supported the fungal growth and decreased the productivity of AFBI gradually. Lauric acid is the most suppressive fatty acid for both fungal growth and aflatoxin production, but oleic acid was the most potent supporter. Vitamin A supported the growth but inhibited aflatoxin B, production. Vitamins C and D2 were also repressive particularly for aflatoxin production. The present study included determining the activities of some enzymes in relation to aflatoxin production in A. parasiticus culture during 20 days. Glycolytic enzymes and pyruvate-generating enzymes seems to be linked with aflatoxin B, production. Also, pentose-phosphate pathway enzymes may provide NADPH for aflatoxin B, synthesis. The decreased activities of TCA cycle enzymes particularly from 4th day of growth up to 10th day were correlated with the increase of aflatoxin B, production. All the tested enzymes as well as aflatoxin B, production were inhibited by either catechol or phenol.