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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Whitaker, Thomas
item Hagler, Winston
item Giesbrecht, Francis

Submitted to: Association Official Analytical Chemists Annual Intrl Meeting & Exposition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/23/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring carcinogenic and toxic compound produced by molds found in several agricultural commodities. Maximum aflatoxin levels allowable in food products are established by the FDA. The peanut industry has an aflatoxin control program that detects and removes aflatoxin contaminated peanuts from the edible market. The peanut industry ywants to improve their current aflatoxin control program by testing peanut for aflatoxin at the first point of sale or when farmers bring their peanuts to the buying point. Aflatoxin is more likely to be found in damaged kernels, small kernels, and kernels that have broken loose from the peanut pod (high risk components) than in the good quality kernels. Studies were conducted to determine if effective aflatoxin sampling plans that used only high risk peanuts could be developed to accurately predict the aflatoxin in the farmer's lot. Results showed that sampling plans that tmeasured aflatoxin in the damaged and loose shelled kernels was an effective method of accurately detecting contaminated lots. Results will help regulatory agencies and the peanut industry design cost effective sampling plans to accurately detect and remove aflatoxin contaminated products from food channels and make the food supply safer for the consumer.

Technical Abstract: Five, 2-kg test samples were taken from each of 120 farmers' stock peanut lots contaminated with aflatoxin. Kernels from each 2-kg sample were divided into the following USDA grade components: sound mature kernels plus sound splits (SMKSS), other kernels (OK), loose shelled kernels (LSK), and damaged kernels (DAM). The kernel mass (g), aflatoxin mass (nanogram or ng), and aflatoxin concentration (ng of aflatoxin/g of peanuts) were measured for each of the 2,400 component samples. The variability associated with measuring aflatoxin mass (ng) in OK+LSK+DAM [A(OLD)ng], aflatoxin mass (ng) in LSK+DAM [A(LD)ng], aflatoxin concentration (ng/g) in OK+LSK+DAM [A(OLD)ng/g], and aflatoxin concentration (ng/g) in LSK+DAM [A(LD)ng/g] was determined. The variance associated with measuring aflatoxin in each of the four combinations of risk components increased with aflatoxin and functional relationships were developed from regression analysis. The variability associated with estimating the lot concentratio from each of the four combinations of components was also determined. The coefficient of variation (CV) for a lot with 100 ng/g was 90, 86, 96, and 98 percent when measuring aflatoxin mass in A(OLD)ng and A(LD)ng and aflatoxin concentration in A(OLD)ng/g, and A(LD)ng, respectively. The performance of aflatoxin sampling plans using the combination of A(OLD)ng and A(LD)ng components was evaluated using a 2-kg test sample and a 50 ng/g accept/reject limit.

Last Modified: 08/19/2017
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