The Influence of Local Market and Household Factors on Aflatoxin Presence in Maize and Symptoms of its Exposure to Children in Guatemala


Recent evidence supports the hypothesis that aflatoxin exposure from maize can influence malnutrition rates among children. Therefore, in Guatemala we investigated two questions; which maize sources exposed households to higher risk of aflatoxin exposure symptoms and what the risk factors were for each maize source, pre- and post-maize harvest. Survey data and household maize samples were collected in October 2016 (pre-harvest) and February 2017 (post-harvest) in San Vicente, Guatemala. Structural equation modeling (SEM) and odds ratios were used to assess the data. The results suggested that households which purchased maize from the market had 3.64 higher odds of high levels of aflatoxin. The models identified that good market purchase habits were significant for market-based maize sources while improved post-harvest practices and improved types of maize storage were significant for subsistence-based maize sources. Cumulative results suggest multiple interventions may be effective but are dependent on time of year and source of maize.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Aflatoxin Exposure; Low-Income Communities; Maize Markets; Structural Equation Modeling (SEM); Subsistence Farming

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0960-3123; 1369-1619

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Taylor & Francis Ltd., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2020