Prevalence of aflatoxin contamination in pulses and spices in different regions of Punjab

Arif Nazir, Imran Kalim, Muhammad Sajjad, Muhammad Usman and Munawar Iqbal

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The aflatoxin contamination of food products is a prime parameter to analyze the quality of food. The present work specifically involves the determination of aflatoxin content of food through chromatographic technique. Pakistan Food Authority and European Union Regulations were followed for quantitative analysis of AFTs in pulses and spices. The samples were collected from different regions of Punjab including Sialkot, Narowal, Gujranwala and Gujrat. The AFTs detected in 120 samples, as per detection limits defined by regulatory authorities i.e. 50 ppb for spices and 4 ppb for pulses through Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC). Maximum AFTs was observed in (spices) red chili samples from Gujranwala city (55.5 ppb), black pepper samples from Narowal city (65.9 ppb), coriander samples from Shakar Garh (67.9 ppb), cumin samples from Daska (63.9) and aniseed samples from Sambrial (52.5 ppb). On the other hand, maximum AFTs for pulses was observed in split chick pea sample from Lahore (11.2 ppb), lentils samples from Kingra (8.6 ppb) and black gram beans from Gujrat Fuwara Chowk (15.4 ppb). This study provides awareness to the public for AFTs contamination in different food commodities.