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Study shows link between maize toxin and stunted growth

An international team of researchers has called for better protection of infants from food containing fumonisin, a toxin produced by fungi and commonly found on maize.

The call was made by researchers at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp and Gent University in Belgium, and the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority. 

In a study published in the scientific journal, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, the researchers found a link between the consumption of fumonisin and the stunted growth of infants in rural Tanzania.

Children of 12 months, who were exposed to fumonisin above the WHO maximum tolerable daily intake of 2μg per kg body weight, were found to be significantly shorter and lighter than their counterparts.

According to the researchers, the toxin, which enters the food chain through fungi growing on maize, is a particular threat to infants in developing countries where corn is staple food.

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