Within this proficiency test, your testing ability for a range of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A within coconut flour can be evaluated. An aflatoxin is a potent carcinogen produced by the Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus moulds.
Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi on agricultural commodities in the field or during storage. It is estimated at 25% of the world's food crops are affected, resulting in large commercial losses. Mycotoxins can cause serious health problems, including some being suspected carcinogens, and so are tightly regulated across the world. Mycotoxin contamination is the largest cause of rapid alerts raised against imported food products. Fapas has introduced multi-mycotoxin proficiency tests as well as those for emerging mycotoxins.
Exposure to mycotoxins needs to be kept as low as possible; with monitoring taking place to ensure that levels of mycotoxins in foodstuff on the market are as low as possible and to comply with national and international maximum levels, conditions and legislation. Crops that are frequently affected by Aspergillus spp. include tree nuts such as coconut.
Coconut flour is high in fibre and protein, is gluten free and rich in certain fats. It can be used as a flour substitute in baking and can be added to enhance drinks such as smoothies. Coconut flour may serve as a regular part of the diet for some communities and be increasingly consumed as part of plant-based dietary choices for others.