Mycotoxins constitute a real problem of public health because of their highly toxic effects for the populations. This study aims to evaluate the practices that favor aflatoxins and ochratoxin A development in rice sold on the markets of Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire). A food consumption survey was conducted among 45 traders and 135 consumers of rice in three markets in Abobo and Cocody communes. A simple, open-ended questionnaire was submitted to the rice traders and consumers. It covered socio-demographic characteristics (age, sex, level of education), location and conditions of storage, place of supply, and knowledge of mycotoxins. Following the survey, 20 samples of rice, prized by the population, were collected and analyzed. Total aflatoxin and ochratoxin A levels were determined using HPLC coupled with mass spectrometry. The results revealed that all traders were unaware of the existence of mycotoxins. The storage and marketing of rice are housed in very unhygienic premises (lack of brick walls in some cases, poor quality tin roof, premises not swept regularly). Most traders renew their rice stocks over an average of one to two months (66.66% in Abobo; 79.99% in Cocody) and prefer to buy their supplies from large stores and other markets in Abidjan. Aflatoxin B1 (0.75±0.05 µg/kg) and total aflatoxin (1.73±0.34 µg/kg) were detected in the rice samples from Abobo market. The presence of Aflatoxins in rice could be related to poor post-harvest practices identified.
Key words: Rice, total aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, practices, Abidjan.
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