Mycotoxins in Indonesian Food Commodities

Fungi and mycotoxin contamination of agricultural commodities is a major problem in Indonesia as well as in other tropical countries.  This is due to the high temperature and humidity, which favor the growth of fungi, followed by producing their toxin.  Five of mycotoxins have been a major of concern in Indonesia, i.e., aflatoxin, deoxinivalenol, fumonisin, ochratoxin, and zearalenon. Priority is given to these five toxins since their producer fungi can grow rapidly and produce their toxins in the tropical condition. Among these mycotoxins, aflatoxin is the most concern problem to be discussed in this paper. Aflatoxin is the highest priority mycotoxin problem in Indonesian agricultural commodities, particularly corn and peanut.  Current data on aflatoxin contamination in these commodities will be presented.

Samples of corn (139 units) were obtained from farmer (84 units), retailer and wholesaler (55 units) from six production area districts, around East and Middle of Java.  All corn samples were shelled prior to sub-sampling for further analysis of AFB1 contamination using ELISA method.  Data showed that, at farmer level approximately 18 % of corn samples were contaminated by more than 20 ppb of AFB1 and 7 % even > 100 ppb.  At retailer and wholesaler levels, 58% of samples contaminated with > 20 ppb, and 20 % with > 100 ppb AFB1. Samples of corn-based food products (96 units) were collected from retailer at the production area and Yogyakarta.  Among these samples, 87 were corn snack and 9 were corn grit which usually consumed as staple food in certain area.  Approximately 18 % of the corn snacks were found to have AFB1 residue higher than 20 ppb and no sample containing more than 100 ppb.

In the case of peanut, our current data showed that peanut from farmer at Central Java region generally contained low level of AFB1, however, 14% peanut samples obtained from traders contaminated by more than 20 ppb of AFB1.  According to our current data obtained, peanut-snack foods (21 samples) only one of them containing AFB1 about 21 ppb, while the other samples were < 5ppb.  However, 58% among 14 samples of peanut sauce have AFB1 residue > 20 ppb, and 14% even > 100 ppb, with the maximum level of 120 ppb.

Fumonisin, deoxinivalenol, zearalenon, and ochratoxin of corn and feed were also intensively reported. Ochratoxin was also analyzed from coffee and data showed that contamination of this toxin was about 0.3 – 40 ppb, which depend on the production area.

Based on the current data on mycotoxin, particularly aflatoxin level at agricultural products, Department of Food and Agricultural Product Technology, Gadjah Mada University has developed several strategies in prevention and control of this mycotoxin, particularly in corn and peanut, in collaboration with other universities, research institutes, government, farmer, traders, and industries. Several performance indicators are targeted such as increasing the productivity, quality, safety (low aflatoxin level) as well as market share of these commodities, increasing awareness of aflatoxin problem and income of farmers.

Key words : Mycotoxins, Indonesia, food commodities

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Mycotoxins in Indonesian Food Commodities
Presented in International Commission of Food Mycology
Key West, Florida USA
June 4-6, 2007

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