Although aflatoxins are unavoidable toxins of food, many methods are available to control them, ranging from natural detoxifying methods to more sophisticated ones. The present review englobes the main characteristics of Aflatoxins as mutagens and carcinogens for humans, their physicochemical properties, the producing fungi, susceptible crops, effects and metabolism. In the metabolism of Aflatoxins the role of cytochromes and isoenzymes, epigenetics, glutathione-S-transferase enzymes, oncogenes and the role of aflatoxins as mutagens of the tumor suppressor gene p53, and the Wnt signaling pathway are briefly explained, as well as these toxins as biomarkers.
The last section includes the Aflatoxin control methods, from the protection of the crop from the Aspergillus fungi, the biocontrol solution, the AFB1-DNA adduct control with the natural repair rates of adduct removal, induction to resistance to AFB1, the detoxification enzymes, recombinant yeasts, pre-exposure to Aflatoxin M1, the inhibition of AFB1 lesions by different compounds, chemoprevention and protective chemical compounds, cruciferous vegetables, dietary dithiolethiones, glucoraphanin, indol-3-carbinol, oltipraz, phenols (butylated hydroxytoluene and ellagic acid), indomethacin, selenium, natural nutrients, coumarin chemoprevention, cafestol and kahweol, terpenes and monoterpenes, grapefruit juice, vitamins, traditional Chinese medical plants (Oldenlandia diffusa and Scutellaria barbata), chlorophyllin, probiotic bacteria and additives as aluminosilicates and glucomannans are described here. Finally, the aflatoxin international legislation was briefly described.