Aflatoxin determination in traditional local brew (Malwa)
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Aflatoxin contamination is a common problem in developing countries, particularly in cereals and this poses a serious health risk to its consumers. Malwa is a traditional brew in Uganda whose cereal ingredients are prone to aflatoxin contamination. Aflatoxin B1 is the most carcinogenic and very harmful to both humans and animals. This study was carried out to determine mould incidence and aflatoxin levels in malwa and its raw materials. Samples used in the study were collected from malwa point in Kikoni, Kampala and the other batch was obtained from a village in Mbale. Sample extraction for aflatoxin analysis was done using QuEChERS method and analysis by LC-MS/MS method, due to the high selectivity and sensitivity of the method. The moulds were determined by dilution plating method. Results obtained showed that no aflatoxins were detected in both the raw materials (flour, dough and roasted dough) and malwa; pH measurement gave values of 4.1 and 3.9 respectively, indicating that the products were slightly acidic. Mould detection gave positive results for the flour and negative results for most of the dough. The following colours green, black and yellow were observed on the plates indicating that probably Aspergillusflavus, nidulans, fumigatus, Aspergillusniger, and Aspergillusochraceus respectively were present in the flour. The sour dough showed very little or no growth of moulds after incubation period of 7 days. Therefore, from the results above moulds detected in the flour did not produce aflatoxins, hence not detected in dough. It may be concluded from this study that natural fermentation could have led to the destruction of aflatoxin producing moulds and thus reducing the level of moulds in the dough and malwa.