“Natural Toxins in Food” lists and discusses some toxins found in foods.
The toxins in food are not limited to manmade chemicals. There are several toxins which are found in natural foods.
Some can be neutralized through the proper preparation techniques of soaking, fermenting or cooking the food substance, others are poisonous in any form. Here’s a list of some natural food toxins:
- Aflatoxin:carcinogenic toxins in food which is produced by the Aspergillus flavus fungus. This fungus can contaminate foods such as grain, nuts and legumes such as peanuts. Aflatoxin-producing members of Aspergillus are common and widespread in nature. They can contaminate grain before harvest or during storage. Aspergillus lives in soil, decaying vegetation, hay, and rancid grains and nuts. Crops which are frequently infected include:
- Grains such as corn, sorghum, pearl millet, rice, and wheat
- Oilseeds such as peanuts, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and cottonseeds
- Spices such as chile peppers, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, ginger,
- Tree nuts including almonds, pistachios, walnuts, coconuts, and brazil nuts.
The toxin can also be found in the milk of animals which are fed contaminated feed. Virtually all sources of commercial peanut butter contain minute quantities of aflatoxin, but it is usually far below the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommended safe level.
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