Detection of Aflatoxins from Maize Samples Using Ferric Chloride
Journal of Contemporary Chemistry
Published : 2022-10-31
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Author: Eugine Mukhaye
Enzyme naringinase is a metabolite produced by a fungus called Aspergillus flavus and it changes colour from yellow to brick red when reacted with ferric chloride. Structurally, this enzyme is only two fewer carbon atoms compared to aflatoxins and it is produced by the same fungus that produces aflatoxins. Due to this structural relationship, the research borrowed the idea behind the colour change that occurs when the enzyme naringinase reacts with ferric chloride to give a notable colour change. The current methods for detecting aflatoxins are expensive and time-consuming and some of them such as thin-layer chromatography (TLC) are less sensitive and use carcinogenic reagents. The main aim of this research was to develop a fast, economical and sensitive assay for the detection of aflatoxin in maize. The isolation of aflatoxins from the maize sample was done through a direct method using 70% methanol. The screening of the presence of aflatoxin was done using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test. A chemical test was later conducted on aflatoxins using 1% ferric chloride to give a brick-red colour. The concentration of this colour determined the quantity of aflatoxin. This study is relevant because aflatoxin is a killer toxicant and it also reduces the productivity of our livestock and crops. Therefore, there is a need for early detection of aflatoxin before it spreads to a wide range and causes further harm. Thus, using ferric chloride as a method for detecting aflatoxins is convenient because it is a rapid, simple and sensitive method compared to other methods such as thin-layer chromatography.
Keywords: Aflatoxins, Thin Layer Chromatography, Optical Density, ELISA, Parts per billion.
Mukhaye, E. (2022). Detection of Aflatoxins from Maize Samples Using Ferric Chloride. Journal of Contemporary Chemistry, Volume 1, Issue 1, P. 1 - 11. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7342243