Spotters in "Nutrition and Health: Food Toxicants" for CFM & MPH students

 

1. Argemone mexicana (Prickly poppy):

Amazon.com : Mexican Poppy seeds hardy annual wildflower Attracts ...

Buy NEERAJ- Satyanashi Seed/Argemone mexicana for Garden/Planting ...

Important points:

  • Argemone mexicana closely resemble mustard seeds
  • It grows wild in india & has prickly leaves and bright yellow flowers
  • Contamination of mustard or other oils with argemone oil may be accidental or deliberate
  • Argemone oil contains one toxic alkaloid sanguinarine which interferes with the oxidation of pyruvic acid which further accumulates in the blood leading to 'Epidemic dropsy'
  • Symptoms of epidemic dropsy are sudden non-inflammatory bilateral swelling of legs often associated with diarrhoea. Dyspnea, cardiac failure and death may follow. Some patients may develop glaucoma.
  • The disease may affect all age groups except breast-fed infants
  • Mortality varies from 5-50%
  • Argemone oil is orange in colour with acrid odour
  • Tests for detection are Nitric acid test & Paper chromatography test

2. Lathyrus sativus (Khesari dhal):

BARI Khesari-1 | Digital Herbarium of Crop Plants

Kheshari Dal... 500 gm - Sawda

Important points:

  • Khesari dhal looks similar to red gram dhal or bengal gram dhal
  • The seeds of lathyrus have a characteristic triangular shape & gray colour
  • Seeds contain a toxin called BOAA (Beta oxalyl amino alanine) which causes neurolathyrism if taken for 2-6 months with diets containing 30% of this dhal
  • Mainly affects persons of age group 15-45 years of age group from poor agricultural labourer families
  • Manifests in five stages latent stage, no-stick stage, one-stick stage, two-stick stage & crawler stage
  • Preventive interventions are vitamin C prophylaxis, banning the crop, removal of toxin, parboiling, education, genetic approach & socio-economic development

3. Aspergillus flavus/ parasiticus (Aflatoxins):

Aspergillus flavus | Aspergillus & Aspergillosis Website

Genetics and evolution of toxin production by Aspergillus flavus - WUR

Important points:

  • Aflatoxins are a group of mycotoxins produced by fungi Aspergillus flavus & Aspergillus parasiticus
  • These fungi infests food grains such as groundnut, maize, parboiled rice, sorghum, wheat, rice, cotton seeds & tapioca under improper storage conditions
  • Aflatoxins (B1, G1) are most potent hepatotoxins (may cause liver cirrhosis) & carcinogenic in addition
  • Control & preventive measures are proper storage after drying, keeping moisture content of grains below 10% & health education for not to consume contaminated food grains

4. Claviceps purpurea (Ergot):

Ergot (Claviceps purpurea) on wheat - Stock Image - C006/5685 ...

Ergot in Wheat - UNL CropWatch, July 8, 2011 | CropWatch ...

Important points:

  • Ergot is a field fungus
  • Food grains such as bajra, rye, sorghum & wheat have tendency to get infested during the flowering stages by the ergot fungus
  • Fungus grows as blakish mass & the seeds become black, irregular and harvested along with grains
  • Ergot infested grain leads to ergotism
  • Symptoms are acute but rarely fatal and include nausea, repeated vomiting, giddiness & drowsiness extending upto 24 to 48 hours after ingestion
  • In chronic case painful cramps in limbs & peripheral gangrene due to vasoconstriction of capillaries have been reported
  • Preventive measures are removal by hand picking, air-floatation & salt-water floatation
  • Safe limit is below 0.05 mg per 100 gm of the food material 

5. Crotalaria (Jhunjhunia):

Science Source - Showy Crotalaria

Crotalaria Juncea Seed Isolated On White Background Stock Photo ...

Important points:

  • Panicum miliare (Gondhli) gets contaminated with seeds of weed crotolaria (jhunjhunia)
  • Seeds of jhunjhunia contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are hepatotoxins cause ascites and jaundice
  • Affects both sexes of all age groups except breast fed infants
  • Overall mortality 40%
  • Preventive measures are deweeding of jhunjhunia plants, sieving & health education

6. Fusarium incamatum:

Fumosinins from Fusarium verticillioides and F. proliferatum | LS9 ...

Fusarium Wilt in Processing Tomatoes – Seminis

Important points:

  • It is a field fungi & known to contaminate food crops and pose health hazards to livestock and humans
  • Fusarium produces deoxynivalenol & fumonisin toxins which causes vomiting and diarrhoea (Moldy ragi poisoning)

References:

  1. Park, K. (2019). Park's textbook of preventive and social medicine. 25th. Jabalpur, India: M/S Banarsidas Bhanot.
  2. Kadri AM. (2019). IAPSM's Textbook of Community Medicine. 1st. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.
  3. https://www.amazon.com/wildflower-Attracts-Butterflies-Tropical-Container-Standard/dp/B01N59CCJD Photo credit
  4. https://www.amazon.in/NT-Satyanashi-Seed-Planting-100/dp/B07PR7QXYD photo credit
  5. http://dhcrop.bsmrau.net/bari-khesari-1/ photo credit
  6. https://www.sawda.com.bd/product/kheshari-dal-500-gm/ photo credit
  7. https://www.aspergillus.org.uk/content/aspergillus-flavus-23 photo credit
  8. https://www.wur.nl/en/project/Genetics-and-evolution-of-toxin-production-by-Aspergillus-flavus.htm photo credit
  9. https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/128799/view/ergot-claviceps-purpurea-on-wheat photo credit
  10. https://cropwatch.unl.edu/ergot-wheat-unl-cropwatch-july-8-2011 photo credit
  11. https://www.sciencesource.com/archive/Showy-Crotalaria-SS2271671.html photo credit
  12. https://www.123rf.com/photo_101583552_crotalaria-juncea-seed-isolated-on-white-background.html photo credit
  13. http://www.ls9.it/2013/09/fumosinins-from-fusarium-verticillioides-and-f-proliferatum/ photo credit
  14. https://www.seminis-us.com/resources/agronomic-spotlights/fusarium-wilt-in-processing-tomatoes/ photo credit

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