This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.
Mohamed F. Abdallah, Rudolf Krska and Michael Sulyok
This study was conducted to investigate the natural co-occurrence of multiple toxic fungal and bacterial metabolites in sugarcane grass and juice intended for human consumption in Upper Egypt. Dietary exposure was assessed using a juice frequency questionnaire of adult inhabitants in Assiut City. The assessment revealed different levels of exposure to AFB1 between males and females in winter and summer seasons. The estimated seasonal exposure ranged from 0.20 to 0.40 ng/kg b.w./day in winter and from 0.38 to 0.90 ng/kg b.w./day in summer.
During the harvesting time, chewing raw sugarcane is a common practice. In addition, sugarcane juice is considered the most popular fresh juice in Egypt, with cane juice shops spreading through all the Egyptian cities. Indian and Pakistani people share the same habit with Egyptians regarding chewing raw sugarcane and consumption of juice. Apart from its sweet taste and being a source of energy and minerals, sugarcane juice consumption, in traditional medicine, helps in the treatment of many diseases such as jaundice, kidney stones, urogenital tract infections, and in lowering blood pressure, and healing dermal wounds; it is also reported as a natural antioxidant under various experimental conditions.
The study aimed to detect multiple mycotoxins occurring naturally in the sugarcane crop and juice for the first time. Indeed, the present work will open the door for further studies on the occurrence of more mycotoxins in this important economic crop. Furthermore, the presence of these metabolites either in their present (parent) form or in a modified form in the secondary products, which are based on sugarcane products such as raw sugar, vinegar, alcohol, chipboard, paper, some chemicals, plastics, paints, fiber, insecticides and detergents and molasses, cannot be excluded.