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BREAKOUT SESSION 4: FOOD SAFETY - Speaker: Peter Cotty

Peter Cotty, University of Arizona, USA

Reducing Aflatoxin Contaminaton Using Biological Control

(Peter Cotty and Ranajit Bandyopadhyay)

Sound management of aflatoxin contamination should begin in the field prior to harvest. This is where the toxigenic fungi first become associated with the crop and where the contamination process begins. The topic of this discussion relates to the use of biocompetitive agents as a biological control strategy for preharvest aflatoxin contamination of agricultural commodities. The biocontrol product – aflasafe™ uses native strains of A. flavus that do not produce aflatoxins (called atoxigenic strains) to out-compete toxin-producing strains so that crops become less contaminated in a process called “competitive exclusion”. This strategy can significantly reduce preharvest aflatoxin contamination in peanuts, maize and other commodities.