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Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

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  • Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

    All,

    News about the collection and reuse of cooking oil in China is doing the media rounds today. China cracks down on cancer cooking oil | The Daily Telegraph is one article.

    Of concern to me was mention of Aflatoxin as it is supposed to be 'present in waste cooking oil'.

    At http://health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=...91&template=24 I found this general description:
    Aflatoxin contamination is caused by growth of the moulds Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, which are commonly found in soils. They are usually benign, but under favourable growing conditions (appropriate temperature and humidity) the moulds infect peanuts which may result in high levels of aflatoxins. Contamination can occur both pre-harvest and post-harvest. For effective monitoring, the peanut crop is regularly tested throughout the manufacturing process. Aflatoxins are potent toxins and are known carcinogens, especially affecting the liver.
    Given this is a carcinogenic organism, what happens to it when we burn it, stick our hands into it, breathe it up?

    The information I have found this morning using sources such as Wikipedia have eased my concerns and I have found that:
    • Yes, Aflatoxin is carcinogenic
    • It is caused by a fungus that attacks a variety of oil seed crops
    • It is generally removed by the initial processing of the oil and the mould/toxin is kept in the mash.


    I have NOT found any historical reference to Aflatoxin being ADDED as part of the cooking process. i.e. if Aflatoxin was present in the original virgin oil, then it is likely to be transferred to the waste. The process of cooking does not cause, nor add to the level.

    Good quality oil does not contain Aflatoxin to unsafe levels as it is food grade and covered by Australian Food Standards. From the Australian Food and Grocery Council Nutrition and Health Guide comes:
    The last ATDS confirmed the overall safety of the Australian food supply and demonstrated that pesticide residues, metals and selected antibiotics, and aflatoxins are either absent or present in low amounts well within the safety limits.
    and http://health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=...91&template=24
    Continual surveillance from the farm gate to the table, by industry and government authorities is intended to ensure that the risk of contaminated peanuts reaching the consumer in Australia is minimised
    I'm no organic chemist and fully appreciate there may be other evidence that differs from my quick search this morning. Does anyone have any evidence this is something we need to be concerned about?

    References:
    Aflatoxin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Aflatoxin total synthesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    How to Process Oilseed on a Small Scale - Howtopedia - english
    http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&so...MJvT56Y5xNpcZA
    http://health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=...91&template=24



    Tim
    Tim-HJ61
    Donating Member
    Last edited by Tim-HJ61; 20 March 2010, 12:48 PM. Reason: Added more info
    Toyota Landcruiser 1988 HJ61 Manual Wagon
    12H-T turbo Direct Injection.
    Twin Tank setup runs on 100% WVO after warm up. 30 plate FPHE with 80C output, 12mm fuel lines
    Start up and shut down electric fuel pump feeds IP direct.
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  • #2
    Re: Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

    I remember reading somewhere that aflatoxins are rendered harmless by heating and/or cooking. Don't know where, could be wrong.

    Going on a bit of a tangent, I believe that we should be concerned about the use of most vegetable oils (in our cars and bodies), full-stop. It's been known for a long time that heating inherently unstable oils (mainly polyunsaturates) can be very dangerous from a health perspective.

    Here's a page that may be of interest:

    The Skinny on Fats

    Be prepared, though. It flies in the face of what we have been told by the authorities and 'experts' about fats & oils for the last few decades - basically since the mid-1900's. For the millions of years before all these modern processed 'healthy' oils were pushed onto consumers, people survived fine on traditional fats & oils. Then again, it might make immediate sense if you look at it from that perspective.

    As DJ has said before, there are many parroted veg mantras and myths out there... maybe not only in relation using it in combustion engines.
    1987 Mercedes W124 300D
    1997 Ssangyong Musso Wagon

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    • #3
      Re: Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

      I agree Dave.

      I thought it would be helpful to check out the insinuation that waste VO has aflatoxin - as per the multiple news articles that all say the same thing.
      Waste cooking oil contains carcinogenic Aflatoxin
      What I found confirmed that if we use oil that originally passed Australian food grade standards, then we have nothing to be concerned about.

      Tim
      Toyota Landcruiser 1988 HJ61 Manual Wagon
      12H-T turbo Direct Injection.
      Twin Tank setup runs on 100% WVO after warm up. 30 plate FPHE with 80C output, 12mm fuel lines
      Start up and shut down electric fuel pump feeds IP direct.
      Front 4WDSytstems Lokka, Rear ARB airlokka for quick escapes up sandhills. Performance GTurbo with 600mm FMIC gives 450nm @ 1700rpm at 20psi boost.

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      • #4
        Re: Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

        I may be reading off the wrong sheet here, and I really dont know a lot about the subject, but I was under the impression that all oils both veg, mineral and synthetic, become increasingly toxic and carcinogenic with increasing numbers of heat cycles? Is there any truth or even vague truths relevant here?

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        • #5
          Re: Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

          We should consider the relative risks of burning vegetable oils compared to burning mineral oils. I imagine that burnt or partially burnt distillate may be more harmful than burnt or partially burnt vegetable oil. No evidence but it sure smells worse.

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          • #6
            Re: Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

            Surely if this was a big issue we would have thousands of fish and chip owners dropping dead.

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            • #7
              Re: Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

              Originally posted by Nuddy View Post
              We should consider the relative risks of burning vegetable oils compared to burning mineral oils. I imagine that burnt or partially burnt distillate may be more harmful than burnt or partially burnt vegetable oil. No evidence but it sure smells worse.
              I imagine the same. I agree about the smell.

              Although I don't think it's the enviro-friendly, non-toxic panacea that some believe it is. The fact seems to be that burning veg oil can be quite harmful.
              1987 Mercedes W124 300D
              1997 Ssangyong Musso Wagon

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              • #8
                Re: Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

                83Patrol,
                I found the article that you linked to fascinating and thank you. It certainly fits well with my understandings and personal experiences.
                I also found this article on ve emissions and its not what I really wanted to hear although I believe it may apply more to palm oil and rapeseed rather than the ve we most commonly use here. Hope there's a difference! The article claims higher emissions for finer particles, NOx, hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide and formaldahyde from burning ve. I hope someone has some countering info.
                http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/docs/...lic_health.pdf

                Laurie
                Lozzer
                Senior Member
                Last edited by Lozzer; 26 March 2010, 07:08 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Aflatoxins - should we be concerned?

                  OK,
                  I will try to defuse some fears raised by this article.
                  • NOx. emissions are higher for Biodiesel engines when the engine is timed for using diesel fuel. There need to bne more tests to check whether this is the case for engines set up for biodiesel. I recall one, but can't locate it at the moment.
                  • CO. CO from burning vegetable oil or biodiesel is much lower than the CO produced by a petrol car at any load settings. You cannot gas yourself by running the exhaust of a diesel into the car, unless it is running at full load. There is an immense excess of air in the exhaust at most other power settings and especially at idle.
                  • This paper does not compare the emissions of PMs from biodiesel, or Veggie oil, to emissions of PMs when using diesel.
                    It is not clear whether or in how far Particulate Matter emissions from vegetable oil burning differ from those from mineral oil or diesel burning. There is some evidence that they are very similar, although in one trial they appeared to be higher.

                  I will add more later, we are out for tea.

                  Bye 4 now,

                  Tony
                  Tony From West Oz
                  Vice Chairperson of WARFA
                  Last edited by Tony From West Oz; 27 March 2010, 02:23 AM.
                  Life is a journey, with problems to solve, lessons to learn, but most of all, experiences to enjoy.

                  Current Vehicles in stable:
                  '06 Musso Sports 4X4 Manual Crew Cab tray back.
                  '04 Rexton 4X4 Automatic SUV
                  '2014 Toyota Prius (on ULP) - Wife's car

                  Previous Vehicles:
                  '90 Mazda Capella. (2000 - 2003) My first Fatmobile. Converted to fun on veggie oil with a 2 tank setup.
                  '80 Mercedes 300D. 2 tank conversion [Sold]
                  '84 Mercedes 300D. 1 tank, no conversion. Replaced engine with rebuilt OM617A turbodiesel engine. Finally had good power. Engine donor for W123 coupe. (body parted out and carcass sold for scrap.)
                  '85 Mercedes Benz W123 300CD Turbodiesel
                  '99 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my darling Wife's car)[sold]
                  '98 Mercedes W202 C250 Turbodiesel (my car)[sold]
                  '06 Musso Sports Crew Cab well body. [Head gasket blew!]
                  '04 Rexton SUV 2.9L Turbodiesel same as Musso - Our Family car.
                  '06 Musso sports Crew Cab Trayback - My hack (no air cond, no heater).

                  Searching the Biofuels Forum using Google
                  Adding images and/or documents to your posts

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