Development of a screening method for determination of aflatoxins
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Toxigenic fungal invasion and subsequent production of aflatoxins in peanut and corn can be a serious problem before and after harvest. The objectives of this study were to: (i) enhance the fluorescence of aflatoxin B1 with cyclodextrins for detection using a fluorometer, and (ii) develop an easy and inexpensive method to screen for aflatoxins in peanut and corn. Improvement of fluorescence was accomplished by using -cyclodextrin, succinyl-(2-hydroxy)propyl- -cyclodextrin and dimethyl- -cyclodextrin using different concentrations of aflatoxin B1 standard. Fluorescence of aflatoxin was greater and more stable over time with -cyclodextrin and its derivatives than a bromine (control). The method involved a clean-up procedure with neutral alumina and quantification with a fluorometer. Statistics showed a high correlation between the developed method and the “Aflatest” in peanut and corn samples with R2 of 0.977 and 0.997, respectively. The new method could be extremely important when monitoring high levels of aflatoxins, reducing the risk to human health.