aflatoxin in peanuts

Rosalind Dalefield rdalefie at rvc.ac.uk
Tue Oct 12 03:16:35 EST 1999

>Fourth, " Careful cleaning is not the key to prevention.  Inspection for
>mold contaminated peanuts is the key."  Certainly elimination of moldy
>is the first priority and I am sure the farmers do a good job of getting
rid of
>them, but does the mold distinguish between live peanuts and peanut particles
>and shell fragments that are lying about in the nooks an crannies of the
>processing machinery?  I doubt it.
Aspergillus flavus is considered primarily a storage fungus, although it
can produce aflatoxin in the field under certain conditions.  So effective
control has a lot to do with avoiding storing peanuts under conditions of
high temperature and humidity.
Pieces of peanut are more likely to be a substrate for aflatoxin production
that whole nuts in good condition. Anything that damages the seed coat and
allows the fungus access to the carbohydrate-rich endosperm increases the
risk of fungal proliferation and aflatoxin production. The fungus thrives
on a good carbohydrate suppply and shell fragments are not a good substrate.

>> > Aflatoxin is, by some researchers, considered the cause of the high rate
>> > of liver cancer found in The Sudan, where peanut consumption is high.
>> Are we forgetting SE Asia?  Further, it is not peanut consumption, it's
>> consumption of moldy peanuts that is the problem.
You also have to take into consideration the level of hepatitis virus
infection in a population when considering the role of aflatoxin in liver
carcinogenesis.  Aflatoxin and hepatitis virus act synergistically, because
aflatoxin acts as the initiator (alters hepatocyte DNA) and hepatitis virus
acts as the promotor (increasing hepatocyte proliferation).


Dr. Rosalind Dalefield BVSc PhD
rdalefie at rvc.ac.uk
Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Toxicology http://www.abvt.org
URL:  http://www.dalefield.com

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