Safe technologies for peanut and cereals processing
The sorting of deformed, discolored or damaged peanuts is carried out at different stages of the process. sorting practices will be examined in detail through the project implementation and there is a reason to believe that at least some of the discarded peanuts are reintroduced into the value chain, particulrly in the peanut butter, it is important to find economically viable alternatives for the safe use of contaminated peanuts and its byproducts.
In addition, there is also a need to focus on the presence of aflatoxins in sorghum and corn, which are very important staple foods for Haitian population especially for the underprivileged ones. Although, contamination rates are lower for these two crops than peanuts, they are an important source of chronic exposure to aflatoxins.
The AFLAH project seeks to develop processes for the treatment of contaminated peanuts in order to obtain foods that do not represent a risk for human and animal health. It also seeks to understand where the contamination of sorghum and corn comes from to prevent or reduce it.
Un initial analysis of aflatoxins levels of peanuts collected at different points in the chain has identified vectors of contamination, including the storage of peanuts in inadequate and poorly maintained warehouses. Based on a research conducted by Chibas through the AFLAH project, it was noted that after extraction and clarification by centrifugation, peanut oil shows very low aflatoxins concentrations (4ppm), whereas contaminated meal can safely be introduced into the broilers feeding. Other peanut decontamination techniques are being tested as part of the project.
For sorghum, much of the contamination with aflatoxins occurs during dehulling. This operation is carried out in mills that are also used to process corn, which are sometimes contaminated with aflatoxins. Through the AFLAH project, this issue is being carefully examined.
For corn, aflatoxins contamination occurs mostly because of post harvest practices. AFLAH project is working with Chibas to identify new practices that can reduce such contamination.