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


1. Argemone mexicana (Prickly poppy): : 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)


  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. Photo credit
  4. photo credit
  5. photo credit
  6. photo credit
  7. photo credit
  8. photo credit
  9. photo credit
  10. photo credit
  11. photo credit
  12. photo credit
  13. photo credit
  14. photo credit


  1. The information in the post you posted here is useful because it contains some of the best information available. Thanks for sharing it. Keep up the good work emergency care.

  2. Very interesting and amazing article about restoring wellness . I will surely share it with friends. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Very well post. It was an awesome post to read about Essential Vitamins Products For Sale Online. Complete rich content and fully informative. I totally Loved it .

  4. Writing a post is really important for the growth of your websites. Thanks for sharing amazing tips about LGD 4033 For Sale. Following these steps will transform the standard of your post for sure.

  5. I am truly impressed by this post which you have provided regarding Educational psychologist cape town It is an interesting post for me as well as for others. Thanks for sharing such post here


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Design equations of Rectangular Microstrip Patch Antenna

Spotters in "Hospital Waste Management" for CFM & MPH students

ORS : A boon in dehydration

Spotters in "Environment and Health: Mosquitoes- Anopheles" for CFM & MPH students

Spotters in "Environment and Health: Water" for CFM & MPH students

Spotters in "Environment and Health: Insecticides" for CFM & MPH students

Spotters in "Nutrition and Health: Balanced diet models" for CFM & MPH students

Spotters in "Environment and Health: Mosquito control Measures" for CFM & MPH students