We have reported a sensitive, specific and simple direct competitive ELISA method to detect aflatoxin in agricultural commodities. We evaluated the ELISA for practical use to detect aflatoxins contaminated in the domestic and foreign agricultural commodities. The detection limits of the direct ELISA for residual aflatoxins in rice, pine nuts, corns, almonds, bean nuts, and pistachio were 10 ppb and in peanuts and cashew nuts were 20 ppb, which were elucidated from the standard curves of ELISA for aflatoxin fortified into the agricultural commodities. Residue studies of naturally contaminated aflatoxins in the agricultural commodities were also carried out by using direct ELISA. As the results of the studies, it was revealed that there were no residues of aflatoxins in 20 rice samples produced in south Korea, 20 pine nut samples in south Korea (9 samples), USA (1 sample) and China (10 samples), each of 20 almond, pistachio and bean nut samples in USA. However, aflatoxin residues were detected in corn samples imported from north Korea (350∼585 ppb in 2 of 3 samples), from USA (109*326 ppb in 6 of 6 samples) and domestic corns (61-326 ppb in 7 of 17 samples). The toxins were contaminated in corn imported from USA for popcorn (17∼20 ppb, in 3 of 10 samples) whereas no residues were detected in corn from south Korea and China. In case of cashew nuts imported from India, 11.4∼23.1 ppb of aflatoxins were detected in 4 from 20 samples. Most of the contaminated foods were harvested before 1995. Thus, hygienic managements of the foods should be required during storage and circulation at market.
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