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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Dawson, Georgia » National Peanut Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #207130

Title: Management and Prevention of Mycotoxins in Peanuts

item Dorner, Joe

Submitted to: International IUPAC Symposium on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/27/2007
Publication Date: 5/21/2007
Citation: Dorner, J.W. 2007. Management and Prevention of Mycotoxins in Peanuts. International IUPAC Symposium on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins.

Interpretive Summary: none required.

Technical Abstract: Contamination of peanuts with mycotoxins, particularly aflatoxins, is a worldwide problem that affects both food safety and agricultural economies. Most countries have adopted regulations that limit the quantity of aflatoxins in food and feed to 20 ppb or less; however, environmental conditions in most of the world where peanuts are produced and stored often make it difficult or impossible to attain such low concentrations. In addition to aflatoxins, peanuts are often contaminated with cyclopiazonic acid (CPA). Both mycotoxins are produced by Aspergillus flavus, a ubiquitous fungus that can infect and grow in peanuts under both preharvest and postharvest conditions. Management of mycotoxin contamination in peanuts generally involves removal of high-risk components from shelled lots or the removal of individual, highly contaminated nuts. This is accomplished by various processes such as screening, kernel sizing, electronic color sorting, hand sorting, and blanching followed by electronic color sorting. Recently, biological control technology has been developed that prevents much of the contamination that might otherwise occur. It is based on competitive exclusion whereby a dominant population of a nontoxigenic strain of A. flavus is established in the soil before peanuts are subjected to conditions favoring contamination. The applied strain competes with toxigenic strains for infection sites resulting in significantly reduced concentrations of aflatoxins and CPA in peanuts. Monitoring of the first commercial use of the technology showed that aflatoxins were reduced by an average 85% in farmers= stock peanuts and by as much as 98% in shelled, edible grade peanuts.