The Presence of Mycotoxins in Kenya’s Kalenjin Traditional Fermented Milk “Mursik”

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K. K. Talaam
Z. W. Nga’ng’a
K. B. Lang’at
M. C. Kirui
T. Gonoi
C. C. Bii


The study aimed at carrying out quantification of mycotoxins contaminating Mursik. Mursik is traditionally fermented milk prepared from freshly milked cow milk. Fermentation does not take place in controlled systems or sterilized conditions; as a result contamination with yeasts, moulds and some pathogenic bacteria would normally occur. These include species from the genus, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium and Candida. Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium has been known as the producers of mycotoxins, which are secondary metabolites of fungi responsible mycoticoses in animals and humans. These mycotoxins include: aflatoxins, fumonisins and deoxynivalenol. The study was laboratory based carried out on mursik samples collected from households. All mursik samples were processed at mycology laboratory, Center for Microbiology Research (CMR), KEMRI. The research protocol was reviewed and approved by KEMRI.The study was carried in Soliat Location, Kericho County, Kenya. It was conducted between February and August, 2013, period of seven months. 194 samples were collected from farmers and 4 samples commercially sold (packet fermented milk) for controls were bought from local shops. Mycotoxins extraction was done using Envirologix procedure and was subsequently quantified by using a QuickTox kit. 99.5% of the samples were contaminated with Aflatoxins. Fumonisin toxin on quantification, 3 (1.5%) of the samples had detectable quantities, and Deoxynivalenol toxins was detected on 1 (0.5%) sample only. Aflatoxin is the major contaminant of mursik. It is clear that mycotoxins will be of increasing importance for all those involved in milk and milk products production, and food production. There is need to adopt effective strategies for mycotoxin control and mycotoxin detoxification.

Mursik, fermentation, fungi and mycotoxins

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Talaam, K. K., Nga’ng’a, Z. W., Lang’at, K. B., Kirui, M. C., Gonoi, T., & Bii, C. C. (2018). The Presence of Mycotoxins in Kenya’s Kalenjin Traditional Fermented Milk “Mursik”. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, 21(1), 1-8.
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