Molecule of the Week

Aflatoxin B1

September 28, 2009

Aflatoxins are mycotoxins that are secondary fungal metabolites produced by species such as Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. They were first described by K. Sargeant et al. in 1961. Under certain conditions, notably high humidity, they can contaminate cereal, nut, seed, and spice crops. Aflatoxin B1, a potential carcinogen, accounts for ~60% of all aflatoxins. It was recently found in some samples of commercial Chinese peanut butter and sesame paste.

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