Aflatoxins are one of the highly toxic secondary metabolites derived from polyketides produced by fungal species. Aflatoxins are various poisonous carcinogens and mutagens that are produced by certain molds, particularly Aspergillus species, and can lead to serious threats to human and animal health by causing various complications. The fungi grow in soil, decaying vegetation, and various staple foodstuffs and commodities such as groundnut, maize(corn) hay, sweetcorn, wheat, millet, sorghum, cassava, walnut, rice, chili peppers, cottonseed, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and various spices. Whereby the fungi grow on almost any crop or food. The aflatoxins enter the general food supply when such contaminated food is processed or consumed. They have been found in both pet and human foods, as well as in feedstocks for agricultural animals. A study in 2016 by the United Nations revealed that Nigeria recorded 2,437 new cases of aflatoxin-induced liver cancer yearly, possibly leading to a yearly financial loss of up to $997 million.
The area under study is Nigeria and the states where the aflatoxin samples were taken.
Data was gotten from National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) through IITA Geospatial Laboratory and Arc Map was used to analyze the data. The raw data was cleaned using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
From the map, we could see that the sources of aflatoxin are groundnut and maize of a total of 75 samples taken across Nigeria. Some states in Nigeria do not have this occurrence while, states like Ondo and Niger have the highest number of cases, followed by Kogi.
This project shows the spread of aflatoxin and its spread across Nigeria. It informs that the southwest part of the country has more cases of the same than anywhere in the country.