A preliminary study of multi-mycotoxins contamination in some selected South Africa medicinal plants

  • Oluwaseun Mary Areo Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Faculty of Science, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Doornfontein Campus, 2028, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Judith Zanle Phoku Agricultural Research Council, Onderstepoort Veterinary Research, Toxicology and Ethno veterinary Medicine, Public Health and Zoonoses, Onderstepoort, South Africa
  • Sefater Gbashi
  • Patrick Berka Njobeh Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology, Faculty of Science, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Doornfontein Campus, 2028, Gauteng, South Africa

Abstract

The use of medicinal plants in folklore remedies and as sources of raw materials for pharmaceutical industries is extensively increasing. The problem surrounding the use of such plants rests with the manner in which such plants like other agricultural commodities are contaminated with fungi, some of which are toxigenic, with possible production of mycotoxins in such plants. This study was aimed at investigating the degree of mycotoxin contamination of 36 South African medicinal plants. A multi-mycotoxin extraction method was followed and mycotoxins so extracted were quantified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). High performance liquid chromatographic data revealed the presence of aflatoxins (AFs), ochratoxin A (OTA) and zearalenone (ZEA) 0.03 to 31.46 µg/kg, 0.2 to 10.09 µg/kg and 0.1 to 23.35 µg/kg, respectively. Most of the plants were found to be contaminated with one or two mycotoxins tested for. The use of such contaminated medicinal plants may lead to high risk of mycotoxins consumption which might result to adverse human health problems and therefore represents a special hazard. In view of this, it is crucial to establish and implement fungal and mycotoxin control programmes so as to limit quality loss and exposure of consumers of these products to these hazardous substances that could be accompanied by ill-health.

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How to Cite
Areo, O. M., J. Z. Phoku, S. Gbashi, and P. B. Njobeh. “A Preliminary Study of Multi-Mycotoxins Contamination in Some Selected South Africa Medicinal Plants”. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, Vol. 32, no. 6, June 2020, pp. 426-33, doi:https://doi.org/10.9755/ejfa.2020.v32.i6.2113. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.
Section
Research Article