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A survey of aflatoxin contamination of coconut products in Sri Lanka; incidence, origins and recommendations

Authors:

U. Samarajeewa ,

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About U.

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

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Abstract

Forty five large scale mills in the 'Coconut Triangle' of Sri Lanka were studied over one year period, for aflatoxin contamination of their products - mainly copra, oil and press cake - to determine the incidence and levels of aflatoxin contamination, and the origin of such contamination.

 

Of 344 samples, approximately 50% contained medium-high levels (0.05 to 1 μg/g, ppm) of aflatoxin B1. None of the samples had levels over 1 ppm. In 99 selected copra kernels with heavy fungal colonisation, the levels ranged from 0.05 t o 4 ppm in 50% of the kernels. Only 2 kernels had higher levels with 10 and 20 ppm: 29% of kernels had levels between trace and 0.05 ppm while no aflatoxin was detected in 18%. The levels detected in cured copra products were lower than those reported in other oilseeds; reasons are discussed.

 

The aflatoxin levels in the products from 25 mills which were in continuous production during the survey period, were classifiable as 'regularly high', 'occasionally high: regularly medium-low' and 'low or nil'. These patterns were correlated with rainfall techniques for curing of copra, conditions of storage, prolonged storage of copra, admixture of high quality copra with substandard kernels for oil extraction and the lack of quality control measures.
How to Cite: Samarajeewa, U. and Arseculeratne, S.N., 1983. A survey of aflatoxin contamination of coconut products in Sri Lanka; incidence, origins and recommendations. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 11(2), pp.225–235. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v11i2.8385
Published on 30 Jun 1983.
Peer Reviewed

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