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Aflatoxin contamination of coconut oil from small scale mills: toxin levels and their relation to free fatty acid content

Authors:

U. Samarajeewa ,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About U.

Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture

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T. V. Gamage,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About T. V.
Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture
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S. N. Arseculeratne

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About S. N.

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine


Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur

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Abstract

Coconut oil which was mechanically extracted in small scale mills, from intermittently processed (sun-dried or smoked) Grade 111 or substandard copra kernels. was assayed for free fatty acid and aflatoxin B1. Oil from these samples showed significantly high levels of aflatoxin B1 (mean value 186 ppb in 115 samples of oil) than the levels found in oil from adequately processed copra extracted in large scale industrial mills. The attention of the coconut industry is drawn to this problem as a potential health hazard to humans and animals, from the consumption of the oil and press cake from such inadequately processed kernels.

 

The relationship between free fatty acid (FFA) content and aflatoxin B1 levels in 100 samples of coconut oil from the small scale mills has been investigated. No correlation was found. The conventionally used FFA content as a chemical index of the 'quality' of oil does not reflect the degree of aflatoxin contamination, making it necessary to apply separate assays for aflatoxin contamination in coconut oil, from commercial sources. Possible reasons for the absence of a correlation between FFA and aflatoxin levels in such oils are discussed.
How to Cite: Samarajeewa, U., Gamage, T.V. and Arseculeratne, S.N., 1983. Aflatoxin contamination of coconut oil from small scale mills: toxin levels and their relation to free fatty acid content. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 11(2), pp.203–210. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v11i2.8383
Published on 30 Jan 1983.
Peer Reviewed

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