Aflatoxin is one of the most deadly carcinogenic food toxins in the world. As a naturally occurring byproduct of certain types of mold, it often forms on various grains, corns, and other similar crops - like peanuts. Exposure to aflatoxin can lead to liver cancer, death, and stunted growth in children. It is a common and dangerous threat to public health, but we are working to prevent, reduce, and manage aflatoxin exposure around the world with a simple five-step process!
When soil is too dry, such as during a drought, insects can burrow into peanut crops, leaving behind holes where aflatoxin molds can enter. With better and more consistent water flow - with the help of our Rocker Water Pump - this can be prevented!
Sorting through crops by hand is an excellent means of reducing aflatoxin exposure - a job often tasked to elderly community members. By providing reading glasses to these individuals, we can ensure a much more effective sorting process!
When dealing with aflatoxin, it is surprisingly much safer to remove the shells entirely before storing peanuts! This way, aflatoxin is unable to thrive in that space between the peanut and shell. Using secure "PICS" bags for storage also protects the crops from external contamination.
To ensure the best and safest product, we test for aflatoxin exposure in the crops with our Aflatoxin Test Kit. We also use a "DryCard" to check for excessive moisture (which increases the risk of aflatoxin). These steps are vital in identifying contamination that might otherwise be overlooked!
To maximize the effectiveness of the first four steps, we must also ensure that these crops actually arrive to their intended destinations! With the help of Aflascreen.org, our cloud-based screening system, we can track and protect these shipments as they enter the global market.
Taking measures to prevent, reduce, and manage aflatoxin at the source is very important, but as mentioned in steps 4 and 5, we must also test and track the crops as they reach the global markets! This is where Aflascreen.org comes into play. This program combines our field test kit for aflatoxin with the power of the cloud, allowing farmers and buyers to track the origin and purity of their products. This way, crops protected against aflatoxin can now be ensured to stay aflatoxin-free as they are safely and securely tracked until arrival at their final destination. Click on the image above to check out the website, and watch the video below for more information!