Submitted to: Peanut Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/2002
Publication Date: 1/15/2003
Citation: WHITAKER, T.B., GIESBRECHT, F.G., SLATE, A.B. MARKET SYSTEM MODEL TO PREDICT THE EFFECTS OF REGULATORY AND PROCESSING PRACTICES ON THE REMOVAL OF AFLATOXIN FROM PEANUTS. PEANUT SCIENCE. 2002. v. 29. p. 128-136. Interpretive Summary: Aflatoxin is a toxin and carcinogenic compound produced by fungi that can grow on agricultural commodities under certain environmental conditions. The peanut industry, working with USDA, has developed an extensive aflatoxin control program to reduce aflatoxin to the lowest possible levels that resources will allow. The USDA and the peanut industry are continually reviewing various segments of the aflatoxin control program seeking ways to make improvements and reduce aflatoxin in peanut lots destined for consumer use. Because the control program is multifaceted from the time farmers bring the peanuts from the field to when the peanuts are processed and shipped to a manufacturer, it is often difficult to know what is the best use of resources to obtain the greatest reduction in aflatoxin. A computer model was developed that predicts the effect of each segment of the control program on the reduction of aflatoxin in shelled peanuts. The cost/benefits associated with improving various segments of the aflatoxin control program can be investigated with the model without costly implementation.
Technical Abstract: A spreadsheet model was developed to predict the effects of USDA aflatoxin regulations and peanut industry processing methods on the reduction of aflatoxin in peanuts marketed in the U.S. The model calculates the distribution of aflatoxin among lots after each major regulatory and processing stage in the market system from the buying point to the manufacturer. The model can provide both USDA and the peanut industry with a method to compare and evaluate the efficacy of proposed new regulations and processing methods on removing aflatoxin without actual costly implementation. Model development also gives an indication of the information that is readily known and not known about the effects of various processing methods on aflatoxin reduction in peanuts. For example, there is little information in scientific literature about the efficiency of shelling processes on aflatoxin reduction. The model is used to evaluate ethe peanut market system where farmers' stock peanuts are chemically teste for aflatoxin.