Incidence of aflatoxin in peanuts (Arachis hypogaea Linnaeus) from markets in Western, Nyanza and Nairobi Provinces of Kenya and related market traits

Mutegi, C K and Wagacha, M and Kimani, J and Otieno, G and Wanyama, R and Hell, K and Christiee, M E (2013) Incidence of aflatoxin in peanuts (Arachis hypogaea Linnaeus) from markets in Western, Nyanza and Nairobi Provinces of Kenya and related market traits. Journal of Stored Products Research, 52. pp. 118-127. ISSN 0022-474X

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Fungal contaminants in major food staples in Kenya have negatively impacted food security. The study sought to investigate peanut market characteristics and their association with levels of aflatoxin in peanuts from Western, Nyanza and Nairobi Provinces of Kenya. Data were collected from 1263 vendors in various market outlets using a structured questionnaire, and peanuts and peanut products from each vendor were sampled and analyzed for aflatoxin levels. Thirty seven per cent of the samples exceeded the 10 μg/kg regulatory limit for aflatoxin levels set by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). Raw podded peanuts had the lowest (χ2 = 167.78; P < 0.001) levels of aflatoxin, with 96% having levels of less than 4 μg/kg and only 4% having more than 10 μg/kg. The most aflatoxin-contaminated products were peanut butter and spoilt peanuts, with 69% and 75% respectively, exceeding 10 μg/kg. A large proportion of peanuts in the country (44%) were traded through informal open air markets; 71.8% of products from supermarkets were safe according to KEBS and the EU regulatory limits, while only 52% from informal markets met this threshold (χ2 = 95.13; P < 0.001). Packaging material significantly (χ2 = 73.89; P < 0.001) influenced the amount of aflatoxin in the product, with the majority (68%) of peanut samples that were stored in plastic jars having >10 μg/kg of aflatoxin. Over 70% of all storage structures were poorly ventilated and dusty. Sorting comprised 53% of the various crop protection measures used by traders post-harvest. To reduce aflatoxin exposure to consumers, set standards need to be complemented by strict monitoring systems and education of producers, processors and consumers in crop commodities other than maize, which has received the most attention in Kenya. Alternative uses of contaminated produce need to be explored.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Mandate crops > Groundnut
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2013 07:35
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2014 09:35
Official URL:
Projects: Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program
Funders: United States Agency for International Development
Acknowledgement: The authors thank USAID, through the Peanut Collaborative Research Support Program (Peanut CRSP) funded by USAID cooperative agreement ECG-A-00-07-00001- for financial support in conducting this research, and ICRISAT for allowing us to use the aflatoxin laboratory to conduct analysis. We thank KARI for the technical support and facilitation while conducting the study. The authors also thank the Ministry of Agriculture extension staff who assisted in data collection during the survey exercise.
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