Effect of manual sorting on Aflatoxins content in peanuts (Arachis Hypogaea, L.) from a Ghanaian market
Aflatoxins have been of major public health concern ever since they were discovered. A simple physical manual sorting procedure and blanching to facilitate the elimination of aflatoxins in raw peanuts was designed, conducted and verified using workshop participants. Two processors were then trained on the technology. Six streams of kernels namely, raw unsorted kernels, pre-sorted kernels (immature and shrivelled kernels), three levels of bad discoloured kernels (≤10% discoloured kernels, ≤50% discoloured kernels and ˃50% discoloured kernels) and good kernels were obtained during the verification exercise. Analyses carried out on these samples using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) gave total aflatoxin levels ranging from none detected to 60.42 μg/kg for good kernels and very, very bad kernels, respectively. Total aflatoxin content of the testa recorded 5.34 μg/kg. During the training session for the two processors, shrivelled and immature kernels were found to be the most susceptible to aflatoxin contamination. Thorough manual sorting of blanched kernels, offers a practical possibility in reducing significantly, aflatoxin levels to below regulatory limits.