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ABSTRACT

The popcorn (Zea mays) is a native plant from Central America, being the United States its largest producer. The consumption in Brazil is growing, but despite all the beneficial properties of the grain, it also becomes the target of producing fungi mycotoxinas, especially aflatoxin which is the most toxic. Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites produced by certain fungi of the Aspergillus genus, especially flavus and parasiticus species. Brazil is a country with environmental conditions conducive to their growth and recognized the deleterious effects of these compounds on human and animal health, which are able to induce carcinogenic, hepatotoxic and mutagenic. ANVISA (the national health surveillance agency) seeking for the quality of food and protecting the health of the population, has set maximum aflatoxins in popcorn, with a limit of 20.0 kg. With this, food companies had to start monitoring their raw material. Due to the requirement of speed of the results emerged methods that use the principle of monoclonal immunoaffinity chromatography, which can isolate aflatoxins food for 15 minutes. In virtue of the growing concern about the quality of food produced, this study aimed to examine two widely used commercial methods for detection of aflatoxins in popcorn, Aflatest FluoroQuant, and compare them as to its effectiveness. From the results obtained it was found that both methods, although it varies show themselves capable of use, able to detect the presence or absence of mycotoxins in a simple and fast. Key-words: popcorn, aflatoxins, immunoaffinity chromatography