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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 136  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 89-97

Aflatoxin contamination in stored rice variety PAU 201 collected from Punjab, India

1 National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR), Hyderabad, India
2 Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India
3 Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
4 Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India
5 Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering & Technology, Ludhiana, India
6 Directorate of Rice Research (ICAR), Hyderabad, India

Correspondence Address:
G S Toteja
Scientist F & Head (Nutrition), Indian Council of Medical Research, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi & "Centre for Promotion of Nutrition Research & Training with special focus on North-East, Tribal & Inaccessible population" (ICMR), ICMR Campus II, 3 Red Cross Road, Tuberculosis Association of India Building, 1st Floor, Near Parliament, New Delhi 110 001
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background & objectives: The present study was carried out on stored rice variety PAU 201 in Punjab that was not permitted for milling and public distribution due to the presence of damaged grains at levels exceeding the regulatory limits of 4.75 per cent. The aim of the study was to determine fungal and aflatoxin contamination in the rice samples to assess hazard from the presence of damaged grains. Presence of iron in discoloured rice grains was also assessed. Methods: Stored samples of paddy of PAU 201 rice variety were collected from six districts of Punjab, milled and analysed for presence of fungal and aflatoxin contamination. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis and Prussian blue staining was used to determine fungal spores and presence of iron, respectively. Results: Aflatoxin analysis of rice samples indicated that none exceeded the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011 tolerance limit of 30 μg/kg and majority of the samples had levels <15 μg/kg. The proportion of damaged grains exceeding the limit of 5 per cent was observed in 85.7 per cent of the samples. SEM and Prussian blue staining and EDX analysis of black tipped and pin point damaged rice grains did not show presence of fungal structures and presence of iron. Interpretation & conclusions: The results of the study indicated that the stored rice samples did not pose any health concern with respect to aflatoxin contamination as per the criteria laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

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