Production of aflatoxins M1 (AFM) and B1 (AFB) by Aspergillus flavus NRRL 3251 in solid-state and shaking liquid cultures using rice as the carbon source was compared. In general, solid-state cultures produced more aflatoxins than shaking liquid cultures on an equal rice weight basis. Solid-state cultures with continuous shaking yielded higher levels of toxins than those with intermittent shaking. However, intermittent shaking is a feasible replacement for the continuous shaking method for AFM production. A typical solid rice culture supplemented with yeast extract produced 30 and 2600 mg per kg rice of AFM and AFB, respectively, in 8 days at 29 degrees C. The optimal culture conditions for toxin production in a shaking liquid culture were also studied. Parameters under consideration included the amount of carbon (rice) and nitrogen source, initial medium pH, and aeration rate. At optimum conditions, a representative shaking liquid culture produced 18 and 1680 mg per kg rice of AFM and AFB, respectively, in 5 days at 29 degrees C. This shaking liquid culture appears feasible for scaling up and routine production of AFM and AFB for toxicological investigations.