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Food additives & contaminants. Part B, Surveillance

Mycological and aflatoxin contamination of peanuts sold at markets in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Pretoria, South Africa.


PMID 24914597

Abstract

Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an important food crop in sub-Saharan Africa. In this survey, the mycological and aflatoxin contamination of peanuts collected from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Pretoria, South Africa, was assessed. Twenty peanut samples were purchased randomly at informal markets in the two cities and analysed for mycoflora and aflatoxins (AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2) using standard methods. The results indicated that 95% of the Kinshasa samples and 100% of the Pretoria samples were contaminated with aflatoxigenic fungi in the ranges 20-49,000 and 40-21,000 CFU/g, respectively. Seventy-five per cent of the Kinshasa samples and 35% of the Pretoria samples exceeded the maximum limits of AFB1 as set by The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Residents of both cities are at a high risk of aflatoxin exposure despite their apparent cultural, socio-economic, geographic and climatic differences. Further work needs to be done to understand the supply chains of peanut trade in informal markets of the two countries so that interventions are well targeted on a regional rather than a national level.