Factors Influencing Aflatoxin Accumulation in Peanut Kernels and the Associated Mycoflora1


Accumulation of aflatoxin in Spanish peanut kernel samples from different geographical areas in Texas during 1966, as detected by the thin-layer chromatographic method, was relatively low. Analysis of samples obtained from growers using artificial drying equipment (forced air and supplemental heat), when windrow conditions were unfavorable for rapid drying, suggests that this practice reduces the possibility of aflatoxin accumulation. In general, peanuts harvested from land planted to peanuts the previous year were more highly infested with fungi and contained more aflatoxin than peanuts grown on land planted with rye, oats, melons, or potatoes the previous year. Aflatoxin incidence tended to decrease from south to north Texas. These findings verify previous research observations that moist tropical climates are conducive to fungal infestation and aflatoxin accumulation. Detection of aflatoxin in sound mature kernels (kernels screened for minimal size) indicates that the practice of screening for removal of small immature kernels and removal of obviously damaged kernels does not completely eliminate aflatoxin contamination.

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