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.

Related:
Keeping mycotoxins away from the food: Does the existence of regulationshave any impact in Africa?
Limbikani Matumba, Christof Van Poucke, Emmanuel Njumbe Ediage and Sarah De
Saeger. P
ublished Taylor and Francis. Pages 1584-1592  Online: 21 April 2015. 7 pages

Following the discovery of aflatoxins in the early 1960s, there have been many studies leading to the uncovering of many mycotoxins and the understanding of associated health effects in animals and humans. Consequently, there has been a global increase in the number of countries with mycotoxin regulations in foods. However, many African countries have only regulations for aflatoxins (or a few other mycotoxins) in specific foods, or no regulations at all.

This paper critically reviews the challenges thwarting the establishment of mycotoxin regulations and their impacts on human dietary mycotoxin exposure in Africa. Mycotoxin regulatory limits for different countries are compared with mycotoxin tolerable daily intakes established by international food safety bodies taking into account consumption patterns. The agrarian setup, food insecurity, and mycotoxin analytical challenges in African countries are discussed; and more feasible mycotoxin dietary exposure reduction strategies are proposed.

Effectiveness of hand sorting, flotation/washing, dehulling and combinations thereof on the decontamination of mycotoxin-contaminated white maize
Limbikani Matumba, Christof Van Poucke, Emmanuel Njumbe Ediage, Bart Jacobs andSarah De Saeger.
Published Taylor and Francis. Pages 960-969 | posted online: 18 Mar 2015, Published online: 14 Apr 2015, 9 pages

Results from this experiment indicated that hand sorting had the greatest effect on mycotoxin removal, while flotation yielded the least effect. In particular hand sorting left < 6% of aflatoxin B1 and < 5% of fumonisin B1. Based on these results, hand sorting of maize grains is being recommended as a last line of defence against mycotoxin exposure among subsistence consumers.

This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.

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