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Soybean paste is manufactured through microbial fermentation and may become contaminated with aflatoxins. Herein, we conducted nationwide large-scale monitoring (n = 1436) over three years (2018-2020) to investigate aflatoxin levels according to geographic, demographic, manufacturing, quality factors, and risk characteristics of homemade soybean paste produced through fermentation. The mean level of total aflatoxins was 5.88 μg/kg (range, 0.01-281.92), with the most common contaminating type being the B type. Aflatoxin levels significantly differed according to the region, age of the manufacturer, type of starter used, and the amino-type nitrogen content and pH of the homemade soybean paste (p < 0.05). Aflatoxin levels was significantly higher when starters were manufactured using the traditional method (inoculation with a naturally occurring strain in the surrounding environment). The aflatoxin exposure level estimated through the average intake of homemade soybean paste in all age groups was 0.1012 ng/kg body weight/day. The risk assessment for the genotoxic and carcinogenic potential of aflatoxins using the margin of exposure approach revealed values of 3705-3954 for average intake of homemade soybean paste, indicating public health concern. These results suggest that follow-up studies and safety management strategies are needed to reduce aflatoxin levels in homemade soybean paste. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Sang Yoo Lee, So Young Woo, Fei Tian, A-Yeong Jeong, Su Been Park, Hyang Sook Chun. Contamination characteristics and risk assessment of aflatoxins in homemade soybean paste, a traditional fermented soybean food, in South Korea. Journal of hazardous materials. 2022 Feb 15;424(Pt C):127576

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PMID: 34736208

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