Managing Aflatoxin Risk

using AOCS Methods and Laboratory Proficiency Testing


What are aflatoxins?

Aflatoxins are group of metabolic products formed by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus fungi in several agricultural commodities. Exposure to aflatoxins occurs primarily through ingesting contaminated food. Once ingested, aflatoxins can cause hepatic and gastrointestinal injury, suppress immune system function, disturb fetal development and cause cancer.

How have aflatoxins impacted producers and consumers?

Aflatoxins require significant, regular testing efforts by producers to mitigate the risk of contaminating products moving downstream in the supply chain. Accurate and efficient testing methods increase the ability of producers to cost-effectively prevent product contamination.  

In May 2004, an outbreak of jaundice with a high fatality rate occurred in Eastern and Central Kenya. Lab testing of maize and foods containing maize revealed 53.2% of samples with aflatoxin B­1 levels greater than 20 ppb. In the US, for example, aflatoxin concentrations are limited to 20 ppb.

In 2013, aflatoxin-contaminated corn required the detection and removal of contaminated feed and other products, such as milk, from European markets.

How do AOCS Methods help test for aflatoxins?

AOCS Methods are internationally recognized analytical testing methods that have been rigorously developed and validated.

AOCS offers thirteen methods to detect aflatoxins. These methods provide consistent and reliable procedures to detect and quantify the presence of aflatoxins in agricultural commodities.

Start testing with the latest analytical method

How does participating in an AOCS profiency program help manage aflatoxin risk?

Allows buyers and sellers to detect and eliminate aflatoxins

  • Provides consistent testing procedures and results across buyers and sellers, including replicating analyses, recalibrating instrumentation, and correlating results.
  • Provides reliable and accurate analyses that assist with systematically monitoring aflatoxin risk across the global food and feed sectors.

Fulfills ISO 17025 requirements

  • Completing a year in the program makes lab staff eligible to apply for Approved Chemist status - approved chemists can use the logo on their materials.

Enhances lab credibility

  • Demonstrates a lab's competence in proficiency testing, one of the "big three" in a laboratory quality system, along with traceability and uncertainty.
  • Allows labs to compare results against peers to monitor ongoing performance in aflatoxin analysis.

Initiates actions to improve lab quality control

  • Identify inadequate testing or measurement procedures
  • Ensure the effectiveness of staff training and supervision
  • Validate accurate and consistent calibration of equipment

What are the aflatoxin LPP series offered by AOCS?

Aflatoxiin in Corn Meal

  • Determines Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2

Aflatoxin in Corn Meal Test Kit

  • Determines Total Aflatoxins

Aflatoxin in Cottonseed Meal

  • Determines Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2

Aflatoxin in Peanut Butter

  • Determines Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2

Aflatoxin in Peanut Paste

  • Determines Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2

Aflatoxin in Peanut Paste Test Kit

  • Determines Total Aflatoxins

Aflatoxin in Pistachio and Almond

  • Determines Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1 and G2

Enroll in an aflatoxin LPP series

Codes of Practice from the Codex Alimentarius Commission

Questions? Contact AOCS technical services

Back to Member News