Effect of Harvesting Time and Drying Methods on Aflatoxin Contamination in Groundnut in Mozambique

Zuza Jnr, Emmanuel; Muitia, Amade; I.V. Amane, Manuel; L. Brandenburg, Rick; Emmott, Andrew and Mondjana, Ana (2018). Effect of Harvesting Time and Drying Methods on Aflatoxin Contamination in Groundnut in Mozambique. In: B Njobeh, Patrick and Stepman, Francois eds. Mycotoxins - Impact and Management Strategies. Mycotoxins: Impact and Management Strategies, 1 (1). United Kingdom: IntechOpen, pp. 1–350.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.77300


The production and utilization of groundnut have increased tremendously across all provinces of Mozambique. However, the presence of aflatoxins has remained a critical food concern in the human diet. In this study, the effect of harvesting time and drying methods on aflatoxin contamination was examined in Northern Mozambique. A randomized complete block design in a split-split plot arrangement with four replications was used with groundnut varieties as the main plot and harvesting dates and drying methods as the subplots. Groundnut samples were analyzed for aflatoxin using the Mreader. In both locations, field observations indicated that on average, aflatoxin contamination levels were lower at physiological maturity (≤10 ppb) compared to harvesting 10 days before (≤15 ppb) and 10 days after physiological maturity (≥20 ppb). It was also observed that the two drying methods were effective in prevention of aflatoxin contamination on groundnut kernels to levels lower than 20 ppb. Aflatoxin contamination levels were significantly lower (≤12 ppb) as a result of the A-Frame than the tarpaulin method. The results of this study, therefore, have indicated that proper postharvest management of groundnuts, such as harvesting at physiological maturity and improved drying, gave lowest aflatoxin contamination levels.

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