Cereals and grains
Rice is the main product and staple food in Malaysia. Corn, wheat, and barley are not staple food grains in this country and are totally imported from Argentina, China, Indonesia, and Thailand (Warr and others 2008). In a survey on stored paddies, rice and rice flour samples were contaminated with AFs (MARDI 1992). However, AF levels in the positive samples were lower than 4 ng/g. A. flavus was also isolated from some of the AF-negative samples. Contamination of wheat flour from retail markets with AFs has been reported earlier (Abdullah and others 1998). The level of AFs in wheat flour samples was in the range of 11.25 to 436.25 ng/g. Abdullah and others (1998) conducted a survey on fungal colonies in starch-based foods from retail outlets in Malaysia. Aflatoxigenic colonies of Aspergillus were detected in wheat flour (20%), glutinous rice grains (4%), ordinary rice grains (4%), and glutinous rice flour (2%). Ordinary rice samples were contaminated with AFG1 (2.4%) and AFG2 (3.6%). Level of AFs in the positive samples collected from private homes ranged from 3.69 to 77.50 ng/g. About 1.2% of wheat flour samples was contaminated with AFB1 (25.62 ng/g), and 4.8% with AFB2 (11.25 to 252.50 ng/g), 3.6% with AFG1 (25.00 to 289.38 ng/g), and 13.25% with AFG2 (16.25 to 436.25 ng/kg). Higher incidence of AF contamination in wheat flour can be due to the following factors: first, presence of aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus spp. is more often seen in wheat flour than ordinary rice, and second, there are longer storage periods for wheat flour compared to other grain flours. Abdullah and others (1998) concluded that aflatoxin contamination occurred at the consumer level since the percentage of contaminated samples was higher at private homes compared to retail markets.
Some of grains from Kuala Lumpur markets have been screened for AF contamination (Rahmani and others 2010). Rice and wheat samples were contaminated with AF : AFB1 (12%), AFB2 (23%), AFG1 (18%), and AFG2 (18%). The ranges of total AFs in the contaminated cereal samples were 0.01 to 5.9 ng/g. Yazdani and others (2011) collected samples of milled rice from retail markets in 4 provinces of Malaysia and screened them for Aspergillus and Eurotium spp. contamination. Isolates were then tested for their aflatoxin-producing ability. Only A. flavus isolate was able to produce AFB1 and AFB2. In a survey by Hong and Nurim (2010), AFB1 and AFB2 were detected in 45% of corn-based products (0.2 to 101.8 ng/g). Samples were collected from imported and locally produced products at retail shops and local market in Kuala Terengganu. Wheat and barley samples from different markets in the state of Penang were analyzed for the presence of Aspergillus spp. and AFB1. Reddy and Salleh (2010) reported A. flavus and A. niger as the dominant aflatoxin-producing specie in all samples. AFB1 was detected in some of wheat samples at 0.42 to 1.89 ng/g and 1 barley sample at 0.58 ng/g. Barley and wheat samples were imported from Thailand and India, respectively (Reddy and Salleh 2010). Later in 2011, Reddy and his research group identified A. flavus and A. niger as the dominant aflatoxin-producing fungi in rice samples from Penang (Reddy and others 2011). They reported that rice-based products had the highest incidence of A. flavus. About 65.4% of A. flavus isolates produced AFB1 ranging from 1700 to 4400 ng/g, and 31% produced AFB2 ranging from 620 to 1670 ng/g. Their studies revealed that among the various examined food groups, cereal-based foods were the second most susceptible foods to AFB1 contamination. Peanut products were reported to be the most susceptible to AFB1 and 50% to 75% of cereal-based foods were contaminated with AFB1 with a mean level ranging from 1.25 to 3.86 ng/g. High levels of AFB1 contamination were detected in corn-based products (75%), rice (69.2%), wheat (64.2%), and oats (50%) (Reddy and others 2011).
Malaysian commercial cereal samples including rice, wheat, and maize flakes were analyzed for AFs. The results showed that 33.3% of rice samples were contaminated with AFs ranging from 0.01 to 3.96 ng/g (Soleimany and others 2011). Later in 2012, Soleimany and others determined AFs in cereals from Malaysian markets using a more accurate method. About 70% of cereal samples were contaminated with AFs at levels of 0.15 to 4.54, 0.2 to 3.2, 0.26 to 2.59, and 0.12 to 1.94 ng/g for rice, wheat, barley, oat, and maize meal, respectively (Soleimany and others 2012a, b). As AFs were detected at low concentration in rice, therefore, rice and its products can be considered low-risk commodities in Malaysia. There were only a few reports on OTA in cereals from Malaysia. Rahmani and others (2010) found very low levels of OTA ranging from 0.03 to 5.32 ng/g in barley, rice, maize meal, and oat from Malaysian markets (Rahmani and others 2010). In the simultaneous determination of mycotoxins in cereals, Soleimany and others (2011) detected OTA in barley, wheat, maize meal, oat, and rice samples (0.1 to 5.32 ng/g) (Soleimany and others 2011). They also surveyed OTA contamination in commercial samples of rice, wheat, and maize flakes in Malaysia. Low levels of OTA were detected in the samples (0.49 to 5.71 ng/g) (Soleimany and others 2012a). Later, in a broader study, they used UPLC-MS/MS for the detection of mycotoxins in cereals and reported that some samples of rice, wheat, oat, barley, and maize meal were contaminated with OTA (Table 1). However, only 1 maize-meal sample exceeded the proposed regulatory limit of 5 ng/g (Soleimany and others 2012b).
Table 1. Mycotoxin levels (ng/g) in cereals and grains
| ||3.69 to 77.50||–||–||–||–||Abdullah and others (1998)|
| ||0.01 to 3.83||0.05 to 5.32||–||–||2.8 to 73.11||Rahmani and others (2010)|
| ||0.68 to 3.79||–||–||–||–||Reddy and others (2011)|
| ||0.19 to 3.96||0.49 to 5.96||27.85 to 74.67||43.16 to 68.97||2.4 to 6.11||Soleimany and others (2011)|
| ||0.15 to 4.54||0.2 to 4.34||40.1 to 61.5||12.5 to 81.2||1.5 to 51.1||Soleimany and others (2012a)|
| ||0.15 to 4.42||0.2 to 4.34||12.59 to 33.25||6.15e34.92||1.5 to 51.1||Soleimany and others (2012b)|
|Wheat||0.42 to 1.89||–||–||–|| ||Reddy and Salleh (2010)|
| ||0.1 to 5.93||0.1||–||–||ND||Rahmani and others (2010)|
| ||0.55 to 5.07||–||–||–||–||Reddy and others (2011)|
| ||2.90 to 3.98||0.9||80.63||48.85 to 82.73||2.98 to 6.73||Soleimany and others (2011)|
| ||0.2 to 3.2||0.15 to 2.11||42.0 to 75.3||22.8 to 112.5||1.42 to 12.74||Soleimany and others (2012a)|
| ||0.2 to 3.2||0.15 to 2.11||12.15 to 29.35||5.5 to 18.62||1.42 to 12.74||Soleimany and others (2012b)|
|Wheat flour||11.25 to 436.25||–||–||–||–||Abdullah and others (1998)|
|Wheat-based noodle||–||–||–||0.627 to 1.243||–||Moazami and Jinap (2009)|
|Barley||0.58||–||–||–||–||Reddy and Salleh (2010)|
| ||0.1 to 2.86||0.03||–||–||2.38 to 24.43||Rahmaniand others (2010)|
| ||0.26 to 2.59||0.18 to 2.84||45.5 to 97.7||27.9 to 72.5||0.95 to 20.26||Soleimany and others (2012a)|
| ||0.26 to 2.59||0.18 to 2.84||10.75 to 31.21||5.5 to 23.63||0.95 to 20.26||Soleimany and others (2012b)|
|Oat||0.21 to 0.29||0.07||–||–||2.8||Rahmani, and others (2010)|
| ||0.65 to 2.85||–||–||–||–||Reddy and others (2011)|
| ||0.12 to 1.94||0.1 to 0.2||49.5 to 177.3||22.7 to 100.2||ND||Soleimany and others (2012a)|
| ||0.12 to 1.94||0.1 to 0.2||12.12 to 18.85||6.72 to 16.48||ND||Soleimany and others (2012b)|
|Maize meal||0.1 to 0.34||ND||–||–||2.5 to 2.9||Rahmani and others (2010)|
| ||0.15 to 1.8||0.1 to 5.76||48.2 to 209.3||35 to 109||1 to 13.47||Soleimany and others (2012a)|
| ||0.15 to 1.8||0.1 to 5.14||30.15||6.18 to 29.15||1 to 13.47||Soleimany and others (2012b)|
|Corn||0.2 to 101.8||–||–||–||–||Hong and others (2010)|
| ||1.75 to 8.95||–||–||–||–||Reddy and others (2011)|
Rahmani and others (2010) also reported 2.8 to 73.11 and 2.38 to 24.43 ng/g of ZEN in rice and barley samples, respectively. However, they did not detect any ZEN contamination in wheat samples. Soleimany and others (2011; 2012a, b), who screened a broader range of cereal samples, detected ZEN in rice samples from 1.5 to 51.1 ng/g, while the lowest level was found in oat and wheat samples (Table 1). Soleimany and others (2011; 2012a, b) also analyzed cereal and grain samples from Malaysian markets for FMN. In 2011, they examined fumonisins B1 (FB1), fumonisin B2 (FB2), and fumonisin B3 (FB3) in rice, maize, and wheat samples. Wheat samples contained higher levels of FMN (80.63 ng/g). FMN contamination in rice samples ranged from 27.85 to 74.67 ng/g. Later in 2012, they surveyed rice, wheat, barley, oat, and maize meal samples and reported high levels of FB1 and FB2 in maize meal samples (48.2 to 209.3 ng/g) (Soleimany and others 2012a). In another study by Soleimany and others (2012b), low levels of FMN in cereals were reported (10.75 to 33.25 ng/g).
Moazami and Jinap (2009) examined different wheat-based noodle products consumed in Malaysia for trichothecenes. Several types of noodles, composed of yellow alkaline, instant noodle, and white salted noodle, were analyzed. They reported a low occurrence of DON in commercial noodle products ranged from 0.627 to 1.243 ng/g. The incidence of DON was higher in imported noodles as compared to local products. Soleimany and others (2011, 2012a, b) reported DON contamination in cereal samples ranged from 12.5 to 81.2, 22.8 to 112.5, 35 to 109, 5.5 to 72.5, 6.72 to 100.2 in rice, wheat, maize, barley, and oat samples, respectively. More recently, Samsudin and Abdullah (2013) surveyed the occurrence of mycotoxigenic fungi and mycotoxins levels in red rice in Malaysia. Red rice, a fermented product of Monascus spp., was contaminated with mycotoxins due to its traditional preparation method. Monascus spp. as starter fungi were present in all 50 samples followed by Penicillium chrysogenum in 62%, Aspergillus niger in 54%, and Aspergillus flavus in 44% of the samples. Citrinin was detected in all samples ate levels of 0.23 to 20.65 mg/kg, AF in 92% of samples at 0.61 to 77.33 μg/kg, and OTA in all samples at 0.23 to 2.48 μg/kg.
Hsuan and others (2011) studied distribution of Fusarium species on rice, sugarcane, and maize samples obtained from farms in different states in Malaysia. They identified 5 species, namely, F. sacchari, F. fujikuroi, F. proliferatum, F. andiyazi, and F. verticillioides. Izzati and others (2011) studied distribution of Fusarium species in maize grown in different locations throughout Malaysia. They reported 8 Fusarium species in samples from Johor, Selangor, Pahang, Pulau Pinang, and Sabah states. The most frequent species detected were F. proliferatum (29.9% isolates), F. semitectum (22.2% isolates), F. verticillioides (13.7% isolates), and F. subglutinans (12.6% isolates). According to Zainudin and others (2011), several species of Fusarium are associated with corn cultivated throughout Malaysia. They isolated 10 Fusarium species from corn plants cultured in 12 main corn growing locations in Malaysia. The most domenent species were F. proliferatum, F. subglutinans, F. verticillioides, and F. nygamai. The most contaminated samples with Fusarium sopecies were obtained in Semenyih, Selangor. Darnetty and other (2008) also isolated F. proliferatum, F. oxysporum, F. nygamai, F. semitectum, F. solani, and F. verticillioides from corn samples grown in 4 states of Malaysia, namely Pulau Pinang, Perlis, Sabah, and Sarawak.
Nuts and nut products
In Malaysia, peanuts are a common dietary staple consumed in the raw, roasted, or baked form. Peanuts and peanut products have the highest consumption among the nuts produced in Malaysia. Penang adults consume an average of 0.77 grams of total nuts (including peanuts) per day (Leong and others 2010). Raw shelled peanuts can be found in almost all retailed outlets throughout the country and they are widely used as an ingredient in a variety of popular foods and dishes. Peanuts in Malaysia are partially supplied by local production; however, the majority are imported from India, Vietnam, and China. The occurrence of AF in nuts and peanut has been proven (Abdulkadar and others 2004). AF contamination of groundnut and groundnut oil was reported by Chong and Beng (1965). Consumption of such contaminated commodities exposes humans and animals to different levels of AF from nanograms to micrograms per day. Due to consumption of AF-contaminated groundnuts, an outbreak in pig farms in Melaka was reported in 1960 (Lim 1964).
Table 2 shows mycotoxin levels in nuts samples from Malaysian Market. In monitoring studies carried out from 1981 to 1984, Mat Isa and Tee (1984) reported that AFs were found in 59% of raw shelled peanut samples. About 80% of peanut butter samples were reported to be contaminated by AFs. Local peanut butter contained higher levels of AFs than imported peanut butter. Some popular local peanut products, namely, satay sauce and rempeyek, were also contaminated with considerable levels of AFs. Later in 1985, 96 raw shelled peanut samples were analyzed and 88.5% were contaminated with AFs and 53.1% were contaminated with AFs higher than 40 ng/g (MARDI 1987). In another comprehensive study carried out in 1992 to 1995, a total of 403 samples of raw shelled peanut samples from retail markets in all major towns in the states of Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, and Melaka were analyzed for AFs. Only 5.8% of samples from Selangor were suitable for human consumption; the rest contained more than 40 ng/g of AFs (Abidin and Mat Isa 1994; Mat Isa and Abidin 1995). Ali and others (1999) also reported high levels of AFs in peanut products with 65% of samples contaminated with more than 50 ng/g of AFs (maximum 180 ng/g). Their study also showed that levels of AFB1 in peanut and peanut products were higher among all AFs. Samples of locally produced peanut candy and peanut bars were contaminated with AFs ranging from 9 to 180 ng/g (Ali and others 1999). Sulaiman and others (2007) analyzed raw shelled peanuts from the state of Perak for AFs and found quite high contaminations of AFB1 (0.85 to 547.51 ng/g) and AFG1 (1.37 to 375.98 ng/g) in peanut samples. About 50% of samples contained total AFs in the range of 0.85 to 762.05 ng/g in which 45% of them exceeded the maximum permitted levels of 35 ng/g set by Malaysian Food Regulation 1985. In the survey by Hong and others (2010), AFB2 was found in 42% of peanut samples marketed in Kuala Terengganu at concentration levels of 0.2 to 101.8 ng/g (Hong and others 2010). Arzandeh and others (2010) screened raw peanut kernels from Malaysian supermarkets for AFs and found 78.57% of the samples contaminated with AFs, of which 10.71% contained more than 15 ng/g. Total AF concentrations ranged from 2.76 to 97.28 ng/g (Arzandeh and others 2010). In another study, Leong and others (2010) reported very high levels of AFs in coated peanut products and raw shelled peanuts of 514 and 711 ng/g, respectively (Leong and others 2010). Some nuts and nut products from Penang, including walnuts, raw shelled peanuts, roasted shelled peanuts, roasted peanut in shell, coated nut products, peanut cakes (gung tang), pounded peanuts, peanut butters, and peanut bakery and confectionery products, were analyzed and 16.3% of the samples were contaminated with AFs. Total levels of AFs in the samples varied from 16.6 to 711 ng/g. The highest level of contamination was found in raw shelled peanuts and AFB1 was the most frequent found with higher levels compared to the other AFs (Leong and others 2010).
Table 2. Mycotoxin levels (ng/g) in nuts and spices
|Raw shelled peanut||40||–||MARDI (1985)|
| ||0.85 to 762.05||–||Sulaiman and others (2007)|
| ||17.8 to 711||–||Leong and others (2010)|
| ||2.76 to 97.28||–||Arzandeh and others(2010)|
| ||0.2 to 101.8||–||Hong and others (2010)|
| ||16.6 to 711||–||Leong and others (2010)|
| ||5.25 to 15.33||–||Reddy and others (2011)|
| ||0.62 to 977||2.82 to 7.41||Afsah-Hejri and others (2012)|
|Peanut candy and peanut bar||9 to 180||–||Ali and others (2010)|
|Coated nut product||113 to 514||–||Leong and others (2010)|
|Roasted groundnut in shell||29.7 to 179||–||Leong and others (2010)|
|Peanut products||0.33 to 273.63||–||Leong and others (2011a)|
|Honey peanuts||1.47 to 6.25||–||Reddy and other s(2011)|
|Roasted peanuts||3.21 to 8.91||–||“|
|Pistachio||0.66 to 1.09||–||“|
|White pepper seed||0.2 to 4.5||0.18 to 2.4||Jalili and others (2009)|
| || || ||Jalili and others (2010)|
|White pepper powder||0.1 to 4.6||0.21 to 3.4||Jalili and others (2010)|
|Black pepper seed||0.1 to 4.8||0.15 to 13.58||Jalili and others (2010)|
|Black pepper powder||0.7 to 4.9||0.23 to 12.64||Jalili and others (2010)|
|Chili and pepper||0.58 to 4.64||–||Reddy and others (2011)|
|Cumin powders||1.89 to 4.64||–||Reddy and others (2011)|
|Chili||0.2 to 79.71||0.2 to 101.24||Jalili and Jinap (2012a)|
| || || || |
Using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, Leong and others (2011b) determined the natural occurrence of AFs in 128 nut samples marketed in Penang. Their result revealed that more than about 50% of the samples were contaminated with AFs ranging from 0.40 to 221.61 ng/g for AFB1 and 0.33 to 273.63 ng/g for total AFs (Leong and others 2011b). More recently, Reddy and others (2011) reported that peanut products were contaminated with considerable amounts of AFB1 ranging from 1.47 to 15.33 ng/g. Raw peanuts showed higher contamination with AFB1 (5.25 to 15.33 ng/g) as compared with roasted peanuts (3.21 to 8.91 ng/g). Their study also found that some pistachio and almond samples were also contaminated with noticeable levels of AFB1 (0.66 to 1.09 ng/g). Afsah-Hejri and others (2013) screened raw peanut samples from supermarkets and retail markets for Aspergillus spp. and AFs contamination. Isolates were then tested for their aflatoxin-producing ability in media. The green Aspergillus spp. from raw peanut samples that were found positive in the screening test and showed a sharp AFB1 peak in their HPLC chromatogram were isolated from peanut samples with high moisture content. According to the report, the high prevalence of Aspergillus spp. and high level of AFB1 contamination in the raw peanut was due to improper storage conditions. As mentioned before, peanut contamination with Aspergillus occurs at preharvest stages when peanuts are in direct contact with soil. Cross-contamination occurs at processing, transportation, and storage. Raw peanut samples from supermarket and retail markets in Kuala Lumpur were analyzed for the presence of Aspergillus spp. and AFB1. Targeting specific genes responsible for aflatoxin production, Afsah-Hejri (2012) reported A. flavus and A. parasiticus as dominant aflatoxin-producing strains in raw peanut samples. AFB1 was detected in all raw peanut samples, ranging from 0.62 to 977 ng/g. Studies on OTA in nuts from Malaysia are very rare. The only study was conducted by Afsah-Hejri and others (2012) who developed an efficient HPLC conditions for OTA determination in peanuts. They examined raw peanut from the Kuala Lumpur market which indicated OTA contamination in samples ranged from 2.82 to 7.41 ng/g (Afsah-Hejri and others 2012; Afsah-Hejri and Jinap 2012). Afsah-Hejri (2012) developed a PCR-based detection method and identified A. ochraceus, A. carbonarius, and A. niger as dominant OTA-producing fungi in raw peanut samples.
In Malaysia, a large variety of spices is used as main ingredients in daily cooking. Malaysia is one of the main producers of spices (especially peppers) in the world and black and white peppers are the major export commodities. However, due to tropical climate conditions, mycotoxin contamination almost always occurs during harvesting, postharvesting, and storage. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct regular monitoring on mycotoxin contaminations in spices. In an early screening study by MARDI in 1984 to 1985, black and white pepper samples from the Pepper Marketing Board (PMB) in the state of Sarawak were analyzed. All pepper samples were positive for AFs. According to the report, aflatoxin contamination of pepper is due to traditional processing and storage methods. However, to reduce the contamination and microbial loads, pepper intended for export is being recleaned and reprocessed (MARDI 1985; Mat Isa and Nazarifah 1986). Later in 1987, MARDI surveyed 19 different types of commonly-used spices including dry and wet spices (MARDI 1987). All samples were contaminated with AFs. According to MARDI (1987), this is probably due to unsuitable storage conditions at retail outlets where the products are kept for long periods. Jalili and others (2009) screened imported and locally produced pepper products from Malaysian markets and found 55.5% of all samples contaminated with AFs (low level of contamination 0.1 to 4.9 ng/g) (Table 2). AFB1 was the highest among other AFs. White peppers were less contaminated compared to black pepper samples collected from the same farm, probably due to the processing effect. In white pepper production there is an extra process of shell removal, which can reduce mycotoxin contamination (Jalili and others 2009). In the study by Reddy and others (2011), 93.3% of analyzed spices were contaminated with AFB1 at 0.58 to 4.64 ng/g. All chili and pepper samples were contaminated with AFB1. Cumin powders contained the highest levels of AFB1 ranging from 1.89 to 4.64 ng/g (Reddy and others 2011). The latest study by Jalili and Jinap (2012a) on AFs in several chilli samples from open markets and supermarkets in Malaysia showed that 65% of all samples taken were contaminated with total AF levels in the range of 0.2 to 79.7 ng/g. AFB1 was the highest as compared to the other examined AFs. Higher levels of AFs were observed in samples collected from open markets (Jalili and Jinap 2012a). Jalili and others (2010; 2012a) detected OTA in 81.25% of chili samples from Malaysian market ranging from 0.2 to 101.2 ng/g (Jalili and others 2010; Jalili and Jinap 2012a). About 95% of samples from the open market and 45% from supermarkets were contaminated with OTA. Higher contamination in samples from open markets can be due to long period and improper storage conditions of spices. Their results also indicated that 16.3% of the samples were contaminated with OTA more than 10 ng/g. In another study, Jalili and others (2012b) examined OTA in commercial peppers which consisted of imported and local black and white pepper in powder and seed form. About 47.5% of samples were contaminated with OTA at levels of 0.15 to 13.58 ng/g, and 33.3% of them exceeded the maximum limit of 5 ng/g (Jalili and Jinap 2012b). However, very low concentrations of OTA were detected in prepacked peppers. Contamination was higher in black pepper compared to white pepper due to different processing methods. In the production of white pepper, peppercorn shells are removed which reduce mycotoxin contaminants.
Vegetables and fruits
In an intensive study on occurrences of Fusarium species in plants from Peninsular Malaysia during the period 1981 to 1986, more than 1000 isolates of Fusarium were obtained from rice, potato, water melon, and chilli (Salleh and Strange 1988). Three species of F. prolijeratum, F. nygamai, and F. longipes were identified on plants. They also reported the association of F. solani and F . oxysporum var. redolens with human diseases. A survey on occurrence of Fusarium species on vegetable fruits from markets in Penang Island reported 6 species namely, F. semitectum, F. oxysporum, F. subglutinans, F. proliferatum, F. solani, and F. equiseti (Nurulhuda and others 2009). The most common species isolated from cucumber (Cucumis sativus), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), okra (Hibiscus esculentus), loofah (Luffa acutangula), bitter gourd (Momordica charantia), brinjal (Solanum melongena), and fresh red chilli (Capsicum annuum) were F. semitectum (33%) followed by F. oxysporum (27%) and F. solani (25%). Since all the 6 identified species are able to produce mycotoxins, they suggested that vegetable fruits could pose health hazard. Latiffah and others (2007) isolated different Fusarium species from crops cultivated in Peneng. They isolated F. solani species on lettuce, papaya, starfruit, cabbage, paddy, banana, dragon fruit, longan, and limau kasturi. F. equiseti was reported in lettuce and dragon fruit. F. semitectum was isolated on lettuce and paddy. In a survey on Fusarium species associated with wet market potatoes in Malaysia, 65 Fusarium strains were isolated and identified from samples collected from different regions in Malaysia. All of the 65 isolates belong to F. solani and F. oxysporum species (Chehri and other 2011). Manshor and others (2012) also reported occurrence of F. solani on grape and loofah (petola) fruits grown in highland areas in Malaysia.
Traditional herbal medicines called jamau and makjun that commonly consumed in Malaysia were screened for AFs. The incidence of AFB1, AFB2, AFG1, and AFG2 were 70%, 61%, 30%, and 4%, correspondingly. However, the extent of total AF contamination was considerably low at 0.03 to 1.57 ng/g (Ali and others 2005). The authors suggested that low levels of AFs may be attributed to the antifungal effects of herbs that prevent fungal growth, and consequently, mycotoxin production. In another study some of the herbal products, namely pasak buni, maajau ratu, tongkat ali, greennleaf energizer, medicare AM700, and medicare AM800, marketed in Malaysia were examined for mycoflora and AFs. Mold counts were low, but several Aspergillus spp. were isolated from all samples, however, none of them were mycotoxigenic. No AF contamination was observed in herbal products in this particular study (Mohd Fuat and others 2006).