Mycotoxin contamination is a common problem in developing countries, particularly in cereals, and this poses a serious health risk to its consumers. Busaa is a Kenyan traditional brew whose cereal ingredients are prone to mycotoxin contamination. This study aimed at detecting the presence and subsequently quantifying aflatoxin, fumonisin and deoxynivalenol (DON), in busaa in Bomet county, Kenya. Busaa samples were collected from homesteads involved in brewing in the north eastern part of Bomet East constituency. Mycotoxins were detected in the samples using the Envirologix QuickTox kits and quantified using the QuickScan machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Among the 61 samples tested, 93, 9.8 and 23% were contaminated with aflatoxin, fumonisin and DON, respectively, (mean: 5.2±0.2 µg/kg, range: 2.8 to 11 µg/kg; mean 1460±188 µg/kg, range 280 to 4000 µg/kg, mean 259±5.2 µg/kg, range 200 to 360 µg/kg, respectively). Although traditional brews are not directly included in the European law on mycotoxins, it is important to consider their mycotoxin levels. In this study, busaa is a mainly a maize product and also the European Union (EU) guidelines on mycotoxins in maize were used as reference. It was found out that 65.6% of busaa had aflatoxin levels above the limit set in the EU guideline (4 µg/kg). Although, the average levels of fumonisin and DON were within the set limits (fumonisins: 4000 µg/kg; DON: 1750 µg/kg), studies have shown that chronic exposure to multiple mycotoxins has detrimental health effects. Therefore, there is need for mycotoxicological quality control of traditionally produced brews for public mycotoxicological safety.
Key words: Mycotoxin, traditional brew
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