An international cooperation project between German research institutions and Africa

AflaZ - in short: zero aflatoxin is a research project coordinated by the Institute for Safety and Quality for Fruits and Vegetables of the Max Rubner-Institut Karlsruhe. Together with scientists of the MRI locations Kiel and Detmold, the Federal Research Institutes Friedrich-Löffler-Institut and Julius Kühn-Institut, the University Koblenz-Landau as well as the project partners from Kenya KALRO (Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization) and EAFF (East African Farmers Federation ) are engaged in the development and implementation of sustainable strategies for the reduction of fungal infestation and aflatoxin contamination in the products maize and milk. One region that has seen serious outbreaks of aflatoxicosis in the past is Kenya (sub-Saharan Africa).
Maize and milk are foods that are very popular and consumed by the African population. However, both staples and feed, and therefore milk, are often and severely contaminated with aflatoxins, exposing the population to levels of toxins that are well beyond the recommended limits. Nevertheless, the consumption of these products is steadily increasing. The AflaZ consortium will develop in a bottom-up approach, starting from the analysis of soil composition, on the maize plant, thus interacting field insects as vectors for the propagation of spores mycotoxin-producing fungi, and the subsequent storage of corncobs, monitoring and prevention strategies, their application can lead to a reduced fungal infestation and thus reduced exposure to mycotoxins. Another important aspect is the carryover of aflatoxin in milk and dairy products, while feeding corn to dairy cows.
AflaZ includes extensive skills development programs, collaborations with local institutions, farmers, students and others, enabling sustainable knowledge transfer, cultural acceptance of recommendations and effective integration of new methods by local communities.