Prof. Mbaria Mucunu speaking to delegates during the capacity building on Mycotoxin Management. The meeting was meant to discuss methods for managing mycotoxins contamination in EAC.
Delegates from agriculture related sectors in East African Community (EAC) met to discuss and further explore alternatives of managing and preventing Mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are fungal secondary metabolites that contaminate various feedstuffs and agricultural crops. Aflatoxins, ochratoxins, fumonisins, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone are all considered the major mycotoxins produced in food and feedstuffs.
Under the umbrella of “Safe Food Safe Dairy Project”, the capacity building event comprised members from Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya and was facilitated by Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) in collaboration with Department of Public Health Pharmacology and Toxicology (PHPT).
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the chief guest, Prof. Stephen Kiama, congratulated the delegates for their concerted efforts and wished them an exciting, productive and informative training session at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences
Capacity Building on Mycotoxin Management for EAC Countries comes at the moment when mycotoxin contamination in Africa is considered to be a major problem with implications that affect human, animal health and the economy.Top of Form Many African states report Aflatoxin-related hepatic diseases. The continent is equally facing widespread Ochratoxin and fumonisin toxicity in humans and animals.
High temperature, moisture content and water activity are among the predisposing factors that facilitate the production of mycotoxins in food. The contamination of food by mycotoxins can occur before production, during storage, processing, transportation or marketing of the food products.
Methods for managing mycotoxins are largely preventive. They include good agricultural practice and sufficient drying of crops after harvest and also the knowledge about fungal sources are needed.
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