Articles

Angineh Parsadanians, MSc 1

Food microbiologist, Speaker & Compiler

1Department of Quality Assurance of AHT-Sahra Ruby Co

Prevention and control of aflatoxin
contaminated nuts and nut products

Angineh Parsadanians, MSc 1

Food microbiologist, Speaker & Compiler

1Department of Quality Assurance of AHT-Sahra Ruby Co

Angineh Parsadanians, MSc 1

Food microbiologist, Speaker & Compiler

1Department of Quality Assurance of AHT-Sahra Ruby Co

Abstract

Pesticides are widely used in most areas of crop production to minimize infestations by pests and thus protect crops from potential yield losses and reduction of product quality. Hence, they play an essential role in ensuring high profits to farmers, providing reliable supplies of agricultural produce at prices which are affordable to consumers, and also improving the quality of produce in terms of cosmetic appeal which is also important to buyers. Benefits from pesticide use can accrue to a number of different recipients, not only to farmers or consumers, but also to the society. At the same time, there is evidence of both direct and indirect dangers involved in the use of these chemical substances both for humans and the environment. Health impacts from pesticide use are of continuous concern in the European population, requiring a constant evaluation of European pesticide policy. However, health impacts have never been quantified accounting for specific crops contributing differently to overall human exposure as well as accounting for individual substances showing distinct environmental behavior and toxicity. Although discussions among scientists and the public have repeatedly focused on the real, predicted, and perceived risks that pesticides pose to people and the environment, in reality nobody will ever know with complete certainty that a pesticide is safe or not. Thus, this article aims to provide a review information for understanding the magnitude of pesticide-associated health problems, identifying groups at special risk, knowing which compounds pose special problems, and finding safer alternatives. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the need to balance alarm about the hazards of pesticides with a sound understanding of precise risks and the best ways to prevent them.

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qa@ahtfoods.com

Abstract

Naturally occurring toxicant contamination of foods with mycotoxins is unavoidable and unpredictable and poses a unique challenge to food safety. Aflatoxins are toxic mold metabolites produced by toxigenic strains of Aspergillus species. Primary commodities susceptible to aflatoxin contamination include nuts and animal-derived foods. Tree nuts (almonds, pistachios, and walnuts) are an exceptionally valuable crop, especially in Iran. The product can be contaminated with aflatoxins, with the former being of special concern because of the strict regulatory levels applied by the European Community (EC). Natural, consumer-acceptable control methods/procedures are therefore required to conform to such limits.

Risks associated with aflatoxin-contaminated foods can be reduced through the use of specific processing and decontamination procedures.

Practical decontamination procedures must:

  • Inactivate, destroy, or remove the toxin
  • Not produce or leave toxic residues in the food/feed
  • Retain the nutritive value of the food/feed
  • Not alter the acceptability or the technological properties of the product, and, if possible,destroy fungal spores.

It is concluded that continued efforts are needed to: Identify and quantify human/animal exposure; estimate health risks and make defensible risk‐benefit judgments; develop sampling plans based on experimental observation; arrive at agreed regulatory levels based on legitimate sampling plans, analytical capabilities and economic considerations; develop procedures for disposal of contaminated lots; and develop plant varieties resistant to fungal invasion.

Research carried out in different regions and provinces of Iran has shown many genera and species of toxigenic fungi, and aflatoxins have been found in different types of food, air, and equipment. Contaminated warehouses are an important route for the entrance of mycotoxins into human tissues, and thus certain management activities are important in order to decrease mycotoxin levels in foodstuffs. Based on the levels of nuts consumption in Iran, many control processes are aimed at decreasing mycotoxin production in nuts such as pistachios and using safe products. Farm-management and food-storage practices are effective at decreasing food-processing times, and these efforts can prevent or minimize toxin formation in agriculture, industry, and food-product manufacturing in order to improve human and animal health. The routine detection of mycotoxins in food and food products for human and animal consumption should be performed as early as possible, before these toxins enter human or animal bodies.

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qa@ahtfoods.com

Abstract

  • Active Supply Chain Surveillance

    • We are keenly aware that the outbreak will likely impact the product supply chain, from farm to fork. We have been in contact with our raw material suppliers and transporting companies to assess and monitor for indications and early warning signs of potential manufacturing discontinuances or interruptions due to the outbreak. Hence, the raw materials used in our manufacturing site doesn’t come from China and other locations in Southeast Asia.
  • Inspections and Monitoring of Products Manufactured in AHT

    • Protecting the safety and security of the product supply chain is one of the AHT’s highest priorities. Our inspections are used as part of our commitment to the supply chain. Therefore, we have taken several actions such as inspecting and analyzing the raw materials directly from farm. Each farm has been observed directly for the personnel medical situation regarding the novel corona virus existence. All personals hygienic and medical condition are monitored from farm to the manufacturing site. We will revisit this approach and adjust as necessary as this outbreak continues to unfold.
  • Implementing of Risk Assessment

    • We implement a risk-based model to identify firms for inspection. The AHT’s prioritizes for inspection facilities deemed as higher-risk based on specific, defined criteria. As part of our risk-based model, we also consider patient exposure, as the more products a facility manufactures, the more likely a patient is to encounter products made at the facility. We also weigh factors in inspection history, a facility that has not met established quality standards when previously inspected is considered higher risk than those that have met standards in the past. In addition, we will consider signals and events of concern, such as product recalls or manufacturer or patient reports of quality problems associated with a facility, which increase the risk score when compared with facilities that have fewer or no such signals or events. Also, we have tighten supplier GMP audit and the TACCP-VACCP plan based on new risk assessment platform.
  • The Safety of Consumer Products

    • All products produced for entry into the abroad are subject to the local and international regulatory requirements and Border Protection. Again, we want to reassure our customers that at this time there is no evidence that food or food packaging have been associated with transmission and no reason to be concerned. Further, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration Surveillance.
    • But in order to observe all aspects, products before shipping are subject to approved laboratories investigation of COVID-19. All products laboratory analysis reports show no presence of COVID-19.
  • Efforts to Diagnose and Prevent the Disease

    • A key focus area for the AHT is expediting the availability of medical products needed to diagnose, and prevent this disease. We’re committed to produce safe and sound products. Hence, effective medical equipment such as masks, protective clothing, relative disinfectant and etc. are present to protect public health. Also, regulatory advices, guidance, and personnel training are provided by authorized doctors to be familiar with ways to wear a mask and other protective clothing correctly.
  • Conclusion

    • In the conclusion, public health remains the priority. Our Company continue to maintain close communication with supply chain and logistics partners to understand the specific situation within their businesses. All areas in from producing lands to shipping containers have been investigated. All stuff and personals who have direct or indirect contact with AHT’s supplies products are completely aware and well trained regarding the transmission routs of COVID-19. The protective clothing and disinfectants are available.

All in all, the personals and products hygienic conditions are under control in whole supply chain.

To request the full text version of the article or for further details, please contact the below email:

qa@ahtfoods.com