Farmers without Fungus: How to store peanuts to reduce toxins

2:08pm, June 8, 2005

African peanut farmers can slash their exposure to a class of harmful fungal toxins by adopting several simple measures after the harvest, researchers have shown. In many developing countries, the carcinogenic contaminants called aflatoxins are abundant in subsistence crops, including peanuts and cereals.

Peanuts become tainted with aflatoxins during storage under hot, moist conditions that promote fungal growth. Insects feeding on the stored peanuts spread the aflatoxin-producing soil fungi and damage the shells that protect the edible kernels.

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