What is aflatoxin?

Aflatoxin is a concern for crops such as groundnut, maize and grains.

Aflatoxin is a type of mycotoxin. Mycotoxins are poisons produced by a fungus or mold that colonizes crops. These toxic compounds are secondary metabolites, meaning they aren’t directly involved in the normal growth, development or reproduction of the organism, but still are produced by fungi as they grow and infect plant tissues. Different types of fungi produce different types of mycotoxins, and many can cause disease and even death in humans and livestock.

Some of the more important mycotoxins include:

  • Aflatoxin
  • Ergot
  • Fumonisins
  • Ochratoxin
  • Deoxynivalenol
  • Zearalenone