A Scoping Review of Mycotoxin Contamination of Maize and Other Grains in South Africa

Felix Fon Fru, Clarence Suh Yah, Lebogang Charity Motaung, Palesa Rose Sekhejane, Patrick Berka Njobeh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Backgrond: Despite global legislative and regulatory efforts to ensure sustainable food safety and security, mycotoxins remain a serious challenge in the supply of staple food commodities like maize and other grains in South Africa. Objectives: We reviewed mycotoxin contamination of maize, maize-associated food products, together with other cereals to emphasis the need for continuous monitoring and management in South Africa. Methods: A scoping review was conducted on mycotoxin contamination of maize, maize-related products, and other cereals, as well as associated health implications in South Africa. The review intended to identify relevant articles and reports from 1980 to 2020 based on Arksey and O’Malley guidelines. Results: Of the 103 articles/reports identified for the research questions “that define to what extend the South African population is exposed to mycotoxins, and why”, 31 (30 %) were eligible for this study. The most recurrent mycotoxins were fumonisins (FBs) and aflatoxins (AFs). The levels of FBs and AFs were as high as 140480 and 762 µg/kg, respectively. Conclusion: The FBs and AFs were the main mycotoxins in maize, other cereals, and related products. Therefore, adopting effective, sustainable, and scalable measures in limiting mycotoxin contamination is critical for the mitigation of food insecurity and the resulted health burden. Training farmers and other stakeholders on good hygiene and farming practices along the food chain is important.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere113558
JournalShiraz E Medical Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Cereals
  • Contamination
  • Maize
  • Mycotoxins
  • Scoping review
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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