Aflatoxin M1 Contamination of Raw Cow Milk, Milk Products and Dietary Exposure

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November, 2018
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Globally, the occurrence of Aflatoxin M1 in milk and milk products has been reported in many countries and therefore a thorny issue especially for developing countries. Despite the health effects of exposure to Aflatoxin M1 such as acute liver damage, cirrhosis of the liver and tumor induction, studies on occurrence and dietary exposure is generally lacking in Ghana. This study therefore sought to determine the incidence and dietary exposure to Aflatoxin M1 in three selected suburbs in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Thirty (30) samples of raw cow’s milk, 30 samples of Burkina drink and 23 locally made cheese (wagashi) were randomly purchased from the three suburbs (Ashaiman, Madina, Nima) in the Greater Accra region and analysed for the presence of aflatoxin M1 (AFM1). Solid phase extraction was used for the extraction and clean-up of samples and subsequently analysed using a high-performance chromatography coupled with fluorescence detector and Pyridinium Bromide Perbromide (PBPB) as a post column derivatization agent for detection and quantification. Using a food frequency questionnaire to obtain food consumption estimates and mean body weights, a deterministic approach was used to calculate the estimated daily intake (EDI) of AFM1 through raw cow’s milk, burkina drink and wagashi. Five of the thirty milk samples (16.67%) were positive with mean AFM1 levels of ±0.25 ug/l. Seven of the thirty Burkina samples (23.33%) showed presence of AFM1 with mean concentration of ±0.09 ug/l. Five of the cheese samples showed presence of AFM1 with mean concentration of ±0.04 ug/kg. The concentrations of AFM1 were lower in the locally made cheese than in the raw cow’s milk and Burkina drink. All the individual results for each product was above the EU limit of 0.05 ug/kg. For EDI, the results obtained showed that infants recorded the highest mean AFM1 across the three food types and therefore the age group exposed to significant risk. AFM1 intake through wagashi was relatively lower across all age groups compared to burkina drink and raw cow’s milk.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management.