Aflatoxin B1 contamination of groundnut Arachis hypogaea L. in eastern Zambia uri icon


  • Groundnut is a rich source of protein and it is the second most widely grown crop in eastern Zambia. A survey was conducted in 2012 to determine the incidence of aflatoxin B1 contamination in groundnuts from several districts important in groundnut production in eastern Zambia. Nyimba and Mambwe districts are in the Luangwa Valley and are comparatively hotter and drier than Chipata and Petauke districts which lie in the cooler plateau. 399, 1 kg unshelled groundnut samples were collected from farmers? fields and also from homesteads upto 1 month after harvest. Aflatoxin B1 was assayed in each shelled sample by weighing and comminuting 100 g subsample and extracting aflatoxin from six 20 g aliquots. ELISA was used to estimate aflatoxin levels and the six values averaged to give the sample contamination. 34 and 27% of samples from Nyimba (maximum=4,980 ppb and arithmetic mean (AM) =1.1) and Mambwe (maximum=69 ppb and AM=0.7), respectively, had aflatoxin levels greater than 20 ppb. In comparison, 38 and 28% of samples from Petauke (maximum=3,258 ppb and AM=0.9) and Chipata (maximum=1,077, and AM= 0.8), respectively, had aflatoxin levels greater than 20 ppb. At the beginning of the season, priority is given to planting maize and cotton, while planting groundnut is delayed, increasing the risk of the crop being exposed to end-of-season drought. The aflatoxin contamination levels we report are a barrier to trade and the well being of consumers

publication date

  • 2013