A study on aflatoxin content in barley flour in India
Keywords:Barley Flour, Aflatoxin, HPTLC, Human consumption, safety.
Barley (Hordeum vulgare), is one of the major cereal grain grown in temperate regions. It is believed to be originated from western Asia or Ethiopia. Barley is the fourth largest grain crop globally, after wheat, rice, and maize corn. Barley is generally used in breads, soups, stews, and health products and sometimes as animal fodder also. Aflatoxin is secreted due to fungal contamination with Aspergillus flavus or A. parasiticus under humid and warm conditions. Aflatoxins can cause liver necrosis, bile duct proliferation, edema or lethargy. There are no reports regarding the level of Aflatoxin content in Barley flour. The objectives of this study was to determine the concentrations of Aflatoxin B1 in Barley Flour collected from various parts of India and also to assess whether the Barley Flour were safe for human consumption. Out of 27 samples of Barley Flour analysed for Aflatoxin B1 by HPTLC method, it has been observed that all samples were found to be free from Aflatoxin B1 i.e aflatoxin content was below detection limit (less than 1.6 ppb). The study showed that the Barley Flour samples collected from various regions of India were found to contain aflatoxin less than 1.6 ppb and which is within the permissible limits as specified by Indian Standards, European Standards and FDA standards and are safe for human consumption.