Aflatoxin exposure is frequent and widespread in most African countries. Key staples such as maize and groundnuts are particularly vulnerable to aflatoxin contamination. A stealthy and silent killer, aflatoxin is a major concern because of its acute, chronic and irreversible health effects on people and livestock, sometimes leading to fatalities. Besides being lifethreatening and compromising health, aflatoxin contamination hampers domestic, regional and international trade as companies are unable to meet international and regional standards.
Aflasafe® is an environmentally friendly product that was developed by IITA and USDA. Aflasafe consistently reduces aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts, maize and sorghum by between 80% and 100% when the crop is in the field and during storage.
Strains of Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus) that do not produce aflatoxins, called atoxigenic strains are identified. Carefully selected atoxigenic strains are the active ingredients of Aflasafe and are coated on roasted, sterile sorghum grains, which are then spread in fields while crops are developing. The active ingredients grow and spread across crops and outcompete aflatoxin producers, preventing the fungi from growing on crops and contaminating them. Each Aflasafe product contains four atoxigenic A. flavus active ingredient strains native to the target nation. In all countries, the use of Aflasafe leads to an 80-100% reduction in aflatoxin contamination in fields.
Market deployment considerations
Aflasafe is formulated as spores carried by inert carrier for ease of deployment.
Efficacy of Aflasafe strains is region-specific and thus requires isoaltion and characterization of different starins for different regions.