Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The peanut story and aflatoxins

Hello! good day,
Peanuts,or groundnuts or karanga in Kiswahili go into a number of East African recipes,they are constituents of vegetable stews,soups etc.But they are also eaten raw (fresh as well as dried) and roasted too.
In most Tanzanian towns vendors sell roasted peanuts in small plastic packaging of around twenty to fifty grams or scoop them out of an open basket resting on the arm by a spoon and pours inside a newspaper cone temporarily made for the task.They have a stomach filling effect if swept down with a glass of water, perfect for low class hustlers as a substitute for lunch or breakfast if you ask me.
But there is a catch, who is monitoring the supply chain of this seemingly innocent farm produce from the farm to your mouth,so to speak?

  • What are the post harvest cautionary measures in countering the onset of aflatoxins at the farm?
  • How long do they store on-site before sending the produce to markets?
  • What is the quality of this storage?
  • What is the transportation environment like?
  • How is the produce stored at the other end so as to allow the little amounts roasted day after day to hold out for the whole period up to next harvest season? 
Aflatoxins,according to the www.wikipedia.org can be defined as: poisonous and cancer-causing chemicals that are produced by certain molds (Aspergillus flavus andAspergillus parasiticus)

 which grow in soil, decaying vegetation, hay, and grains.

 They are regularly found in improperly stored staple 

commodities such as cassavachili pepperscorncotton

 seedmilletpeanutsrice,sorghumsunflower seedstree 

nutswheat, and a variety of spices. 


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