Aflatoxin B1 levels in groundnut products from local markets in Zambia

  • 23rd April 2017
  • by secretary
Aflatoxin B1 levels in groundnut products from local markets in Zambia
Samuel M. C. Njoroge; Limbikani Matumba*; Kennedy Kanenga; Moses Siambi and Farid Waliyar and Joseph Maruwo1; Norah Machinjiri; Emmanuel S. Monyo
Society for Mycotoxin Research and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017, 7 pages

(*Dr. Limbikani Matumba is associated to the research project supported by PAEPARD: Stemming Aflatoxin pre- and post-harvest waste in the groundnut value chain (GnVC) in Malawi and Zambia to improve food and nutrition security in the smallholder farming families.)

This is the first published report on aflatoxin contamination in groundnut grain and milled powder sold in the Zambian market. The findings clearly show that mitigation efforts are needed to reduce the risks to aflatoxin exposure. The overall contamination levels of groundnut products with were found to be alarmingly high in all years and locations. Therefore, solutions are needed to reduce
aflatoxin levels in under-regulated markets.

Several studies have documented aflatoxin contamination of groundnut kernels in different markets across Africa, but none have compared contamination in groundnut kernels to milled groundnut powder. (…) Compared to groundnut kernels, milled groundnut powder obscures visual indicators of aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts such as moldiness, discoloration, insect damage or kernel damage.

Considering that in Zambia, and across sub-Saharan Africa, milled groundnut powder is often blended with cereals for making porridge, or added to leafy green vegetable preparations—locally called ‘nsinjiro’, or used as an ingredient for complementary food for AIDS patients, the incidence of aflatoxins in milled groundnut powder is of public health interest. Specifically, early exposure to aflatoxin could exacerbate the incidence of stunting among children, which is estimated to affect 48% of children in Zambia and to compromise the health of AIDS patients by further depressing immunity and negatively affecting nutritional status .

Based on our results, interventions are needed to reduce aflatoxin levels, which would lead to minimize consumer dietary exposure and prevent disease. (…) However, manual sorting would only work for grain compared to milled powder, and also that it also depends on the availability of viable alternative uses for the sorted out grain, and importantly, it depends on the availability of food.