Abstract

Contamination of foodstuffs by aflatoxins is a serious threat to food safety and security in most parts of the world and there is need to sensitize consumers on the aflatoxin contents of the foods they consume. This study was carried out to ascertain levels of aflatoxin contamination in some locally prepared and marketed cold paps of maize and guinea corn as well as peanut butter in Nsukka, Nigeria. Aflatoxins in the samples bought from three different markets in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria were analyzed in triplicates using thin layer chromatography and spectrophotometric methods. Results showed that aflatoxin B1 and B2 were detected in all the food samples with their concentrations ranging from 1.48 ± 0.24 to 2.31 ± 0.64 µg/kg and 1.42 ± 0.17 to 2.17 ± 0.83 µg/kg respectively. Aflatoxins B1 and B2 concentrations were statistically different (p ≤ 0.05) in all sampled food products. Aflatoxin B1 differed significantly (p ≤ 0.05) among locations. The total aflatoxin contents of sampled foods ranged from 8.9 ± 0.9 to 49.1 ± 9.0 µg/kg and differed significantly (p ≤ 0.05) among samples and locations. Unsafe levels of mainly the total aflatoxins were associated with cereal cold paps and peanut butter sold in the study area. Though concentrations of aflatoxins (B1 and B2) in these foods were within recommended tolerable limits, that of total aflatoxin contents were above the tolerable limits (mostly in peanut butter) and are potential threats to consumers.