Paper Title
Aflatoxin Contamination in Cattle Feed, Milk and Milk Products of Bhagalpur, Bihar

Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites of some saprophytic moulds, Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus and A. nomius which contaminate food/ feed and can cause toxic affects (carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic and immunosuppressive affects) on most of the animals and human beings. According to an estimate aflatoxin exposure contribute to 28.2% of liver cancer among human beings. IARC (2002) has classified aflatoxin B1 as class I carcinogen. Dairy cows when consume aflatoxin contaminated feed they convert it into their liver as hydroxylated derivatives called Aflatoxin M1 (milk toxin), which is class 2B carcinogen. Since milk is supposed to be complete food and thereby, it is prescribed to infants, children and old aged people. However, those people have comparatively low immune system. Natural occurrence of aflatoxin in Bihar is fairly high because of prevailing high temperature, moisture and also poor agriculture and storage practices. The present study was undertaken to make extensive survey of cattle feeds, milk and milk products for aflatoxin contamination at Bhagalpur and surrounding districts of Bihar, India. Significantly high (p<0.05%) level of aflatoxin contamination was found in household cattle feed followed by commercial feeds, the mean value was 6.13 ± 3.1 μg/kg and 4.82 ± 1.67 μg/kg, respectively. Different milk and milk products were also screened for the qualitative and quantitative estimation of aflatoxin M1. Maximum (58%) aflatoxin M1 contamination was found in raw milk of cow, however, the range of aflatoxin was high in buffalo milk (0.02 – 0.022 μg/kg,). Urban and semi-urban regions were recorded as containing comparatively more aflatoxin contamination then the rural regions, where there was the high availability of fresh feed/ green feed. In order to evaluate the regional variations, analysis of variance (ANOVA test) was employed for estimated data. Poor agricultural management, unseasonal rains, floods, excessive moistening of feeds etc. provided congenial condition for A. flavus infestation and aflatoxin contamination in feed and grains (ingredients of feeds). Dairy cattle excrete (carryover) aflatoxin M1 in milk and milk products and also infant formulae. Considering the food safety many countries have led to legislate stringent regulation, hence, there is need for periodic and extensive survey of aflatoxins in dairy and dairy products. Keywords - Aspergillus flavus, Aflatoxin B1 Aflatoxin M1, Cattle Feed, Milk and Milk Product