Aflatoxins are naturally occurring compounds, which are produced from the molds Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. These compounds are a group of mycotoxins. Aflatoxins, as potent carcinogens to humans, are associated with serious health problems. They lead to liver cancer and acute hepatitis, as well as aflatoxicosis (in higher doses) leading to death.
Aflatoxins can be found in several foodstuffs, such as grain (corn, rice, and wheat), spices (black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon), oil seeds (sunflower seed, soybean), nuts (peanut, pistachio, walnut), milk and milk products. The major four aflatoxins are aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, and G2, which will be described in details later.