Novel decontamination approaches and their potential application for post-harvest aflatoxin control

Marshall, Helina and Meneely, Julie P. and Quinn, Brian and Zhao, Yueju and Bourke, Paula and Gilmore, Brendan F. and Zhang, Guangtao and Elliott, Christopher T. (2020) Novel decontamination approaches and their potential application for post-harvest aflatoxin control. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 106. pp. 489-496. ISSN 0924-2244 (

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Background: Aflatoxin is considered to be the most important mycotoxin in the world for human food and animal feed. Current strategies for the reduction of mycotoxins in food and feed includes both prevention and removal. It is clear that the development and implementation of novel decontamination methods is critical for the protection of human and animal health. Scope and approach: This review focuses on post-harvest- biological, chemical and physical processes that could potentially be applied to aflatoxin decontamination. The application of novel technologies are reviewed in detail, as well as the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of these methods. This review investigates the potential for novel approaches to achieve aflatoxin decontamination. Key findings and conclusion: The limitations that are associated with conventional methods of mycotoxin removal have led to ongoing research into alternative decontamination methods using novel technologies. The combination of fluorescence-based sorting to remove highly contaminated produce, paired with a secondary decontamination process is believed to have great potential to deliver effective reduction in aflatoxin contamination, whilst retaining the organoleptic and nutritional profile, and preventing significant food waste. Novel decontamination approaches when applied to aflatoxin decontamination are of huge interest and a growing need for global food security.