Aflatoxin B1 levels in groundnut products from local markets in Zambia. uri icon

abstract

  • In Zambia, groundnut products (milled groundnut powder, groundnut kernels) are mostly sold in under-regulated markets. Coupled with the lack of quality enforcement in such markets, consumers may be at risk to aflatoxin exposure. However, the level of aflatoxin contamination in these products is not known. Compared to groundnut kernels, milled groundnut powder obscures visual indicators of aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts such as moldiness, discoloration, insect damage or kernel damage. A survey was therefore conducted from 2012 to 2014, to estimate and compare aflatoxin levels in these products (n = 202), purchased from markets in important groundnut growing districts and in urban areas. Samples of whole groundnut kernels (n = 163) and milled groundnut powder (n = 39) were analysed for aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). Results showed substantial AFB1 contamination levels in both types of groundnut products with maximum AFB1 levels of 11,100 ?g/kg (groundnut kernels) and 3000 ?g/kg (milled groundnut powder). However, paired t test analysis showed that AFB1 contamination levels in milled groundnut powder were not always significantly higher (P > 0.05) than those in groundnut kernels. Even for products from the same vendor, AFB1 levels were not consistently higher in milled groundnut powder than in whole groundnut kernels. This suggests that vendors do not systematically sort out whole groundnut kernels of visually poor quality for milling. However, the overall contamination levels of groundnut products with AFB1 were found to be alarmingly high in all years and locations. Therefore, solutions are needed to reduce aflatoxin levels in such under-regulated markets

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017