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Fungal contamination and selected mycotoxins in pre- and post-harvest maize in Honduras

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Publication date
Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Latin America & the Caribbean
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
del Rio, L.E.; Julian, A.M.; MacDonald, M.V.; Medlock, V.F.P.; Phillips, S.I.; Wareing, P.W.

Sixty nine samples of maize were collected from pre-harvest standing crops and on-farm storage facilities from 52 smallholder farms located within 4 regions of Honduras during October 1992 and November 1993. Samples were visually assessed for insect damage and fungal spoilage, and the mycoflora quantified on artificial media. The major components of the ear rot complex were:Fusarium moniliforme, F. moniliforme var.subglutinans, Penicillium species,Stenocarpella maydis, S. macrospora andAcremonium spp. Representative samples were also assayed for mycotoxin content. Fumonisin B1 was detected in all 24 samples tested at levels of between 68–6,555 (µg/kg), and aflatoxin was detected in 2 samples heavily contaminated withAspergillus flavus. Moniliformin and tenuazonic acid were not detected in the samples tested. The implications of these findings for human and livestock health risk are discussed, together with possible strategies for controlling these pathogens.