Incidence and health risk assessment of hydrogen cyanide and multi-mycotoxins in Nigerian garri

Gabriel Babatunde Olorunnado, Hadiza Kudu Muhammad, Daniel Ojochenemi Apeh, Susan Salubuyi, Helmina Olufunmilayo Akanya, Sefater Gbashi, Joseph Kumphanda, Patrick Berka Njobeh, Hussaini Anthony Makun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Garri is a granular, starchy food prepared by the fermentation of mashed cassava. Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and mycotoxins are contaminants in certain foods at different points along the food value chain. The incidence and contamination levels of HCN and multi-mycotoxins in garri from five agroecological zones of Nigeria were determined using a spectrophotometric method and ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy (UHPLC-MS/MS), respectively. The health risk associated with the consumption of contaminated garri was assessed. The health risk assessment model was used to calculate the dietary exposure of humans to the mycotoxins in garri. This was done by estimating the daily intake (EDI), the percentage tolerable daily intake (%TDI), the annual hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases attributable to exposure to aflatoxins (AFs) in garri, as well as the HCC risk. The average intake of garri was estimated at 0.303 kg/day for a Nigerian adult. The incidence of HCN was 98.3% (0.056–2.463 mg/kg), and fermentation reduced the HCN level in garri more than other processing steps. The twenty-one mycotoxins identified and quantified were all within maximum levels, as applicable to those that are regulated by the EU. The %TDI for the other mycotoxins, with the exception of AFs, showed no alarming health risk with garri consumption. Annual HCC cases resulting from AF in garri were estimated at 10–60 cases for HBsAg + ve individuals and 4–23 cases for HBsAg − ve individuals based on 8.1% hepatitis B virus (HBV) incidence. Results further revealed no interdependence between HCN levels and mycotoxin content. This work suggests an unlikely chance of acute toxicity from HCN and major mycotoxins from a garri-based diet in Nigeria. Hence, it is recommended that concerned regulatory bodies maintain the existing permissible limits for HCN in Garri.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-423
Number of pages14
JournalFood Additives and Contaminants
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Nigeria
  • garri
  • multi-mycotoxins
  • risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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