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PROJECT TOPIC: MYCOTOXINS AVAILABLE IN FOODSTUFFS VENDED

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ABSTRACT

Mycotoxins are derived from the combination of two greek words “mykes” which means fungus and “toxikon” which means poison (Haper douglas, 2008). Thus, mycotoxins are fungal poisons (Bennett, 1987). Mycotoxins are natural products produced by fungi that evoke a toxic response when introduced in low concentration to higher vertebrates and other animals by a natural route (Benette, 1987). Richard(2007) defined mycotoxin as a toxic secondary metabolite produced by organism of the fungi kingdom commonly known as moulds and this toxins are capable of causing diseases and death to humans and other animals. The term mycotoxin was coined in 1962, in the aftermath of an unusual veterinary crisis near London, England during which approximately 100,000 turkey poults died (Blout, 1961). When the mysterious turkey X disease was linked to a peanut (groundnut) meal which was contaminated with secondary metabolites Aspergillus flavus (Aflatoxins)(Blout, 1961). It then sensitized scientists to the possibility that other occult mould metabolites might be deadly. Soon the mycotoxin rubic was extended to include a number of previously known fungal toxins for example: the ergot alkaloids, some compounds that had originally been isolated as antibiotics, for example patulin and a number of new secondary metabolites revealed in screens targeted at mycotoxins discovery for example ochratoxin (Forgacs, 1962).


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