Team:ITB Indonesia/BehindTheScene/AflatoxinWholeCellBiosensor


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Aflatoxin Whole Cell Biosensor: Towards Indonesian Food Security

Not only for our health, Aflatoxin exposure can become serious problems for economics and food security in certain developing countries. Legumes is still an alternative staple food after rice and tubers. According to the data from  Department of Agriculture of Indonesia, nuts consumption rate in Indonesia is still very high at around 0.5404 kg / capita / year [1].  Poor  process production and bad storage system, can lead the growth of the fungus from class of Aspergillus. The presence of fungal species Aspergillusflavus and Aspergillusparasiticus can contaminate food such as nuts, corn, and maize with a toxin known as aflatoxin.

Here’s the data of level of aflatoxin exposure on food in certain developing countries
Tabel 1. Food contamination by aflatoxin in certain developing countries [2]

According to data reported by BBalitvet, Research and Development Division, Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, 40.7% of corn production in Indonesia has been contaminated aflatoxin which exceed the defined quality standards ISO (> 500 ppb). Not only corn production, level exposure of aflatoxin in peanuts production, processed peanuts, milk, and other food product in Indonesia have exceeded a set threshold by SNI [3].

Too much of food contaminated by aflatoxins cause a rejection of food exports that resulting reduction in foreign exchange. the presence of foods contaminated by aflatoxin that weren't detected increase the number of aflatoxin exposure during the process of production, storage, or distribution. Aflatoxin exposure on food   increasing the number of food items that do not qualify for the industrial requirement which of course would lead to huge losses. A lot of food  wasted cause a domino effect, such as doesn't insufficient for domestic food demand, food prices are soaring, up to the need for increased food imports. So the detection of aflatoxin contamination in food is necessary, in order to break the chain of aflatoxin contamination in foodstuffs. aflatoxin whole cell biosensor arise as an answer from aflatoxin exposure problems. We hope this device can help Indonesia and  other developing countries to improve the food security.


[1] Department of Agricultural of Indonesia. Report of total production and consumption harvesting product
[2] Farombi, EO. 2006. Aflatoxin contamination of foods in developing countries: Implications for hepatocellular carcinoma and chemopreventive strategies. African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 5 (1), pp. 001-014, 2 January 2006
[3] Research and Development Indonesian Vetenary.Department of Agricultural of Indonesia. Contamination aflatoxin in feedstock.