Archive for July, 2016

REDUCING AFLATOXINS IN GROUNDNUTS COULD LEAD TO HIGHER PROFITS

July 29th, 2016
Appaw presented his preliminary findings in January 2016 at the West Africa MSN-GLEE (Multi-sectoral Nutrition Strategy Global Learning & Evidence Exchange) workshop in Accra.

Appaw presented his preliminary findings in January 2016 at the West Africa MSN-GLEE (Multi-sectoral Nutrition Strategy Global Learning & Evidence Exchange) workshop in Accra.

Preliminary results of a new study from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Peanut and Mycotoxin Innovation Lab reveals that better drying and hermetic storage can reduce aflatoxin growth on groundnuts, making the legume safer for human consumption.

The study was led by William Appaw, a master’s student in Food Science and Technology at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. It is part of a collaboration between the USAID, universities such as the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University in the US and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana, and the Ghana Peanut Value Chain Intervention.

According to the study, groundnuts dried on a tarp did far better than those dried on the ground, with 85 percent less aflatoxin. But it was hermetic bags that significantly reduced the growth of aflatoxins showing a 95 percent decrease. Appaw released the preliminary finding in January. (Credits to William Appaw and the University of Georgia).

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“This could mean more profit for those nuts that are stored or, eventually, an opportunity to feed the local industry and also export because they have had consistently low aflatoxin readings,” Appaw said.

Storing groundnut in hermetic bags greatly reduced the amount of aflatoxin appearing in nuts.

Storing groundnut in hermetic bags greatly reduced the amount of aflatoxin appearing in nuts.

Groundnuts dried on a tarp seem to develop less aflatoxin than than those dried on the ground.

Groundnuts dried on a tarp seem to develop less aflatoxin than than those dried on the ground.

CONFERENCE STRESSES IMPACT OF STORAGE INNOVATIONS IN IMPROVING AFRICA’S FOOD SECURITY

July 12th, 2016
Phil Villers (GrainPro) stresses the importance of food storage.

Phil Villers (GrainPro) stresses the importance of food storage.

NAIROBI, KENYA – Food security experts from 15 countries openly discussed challenges and solutions during the first Africa Strategic Grain Reserve Conference on June 14-15, 2016 in Nairobi. The Conference, sponsored by the African Union’s Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), GrainPro, the Schooner Africa Fund, ABT Associates and AGCO/GSI, brought together more than 100 participants from governments, development groups and the private sector to address food losses and aflatoxin problems, and assist grain reserve agencies throughout the continent.

During partnership dialogues, the participants agreed that postharvest losses and aflatoxin growth are the two biggest challenges to food insecurity in Africa totaling $4 billion in lost value annually. They stressed that establishing strategic grain reserves will have a positive impact on food security, disaster risk reduction, and in stabilizing food prices throughout Africa.

The partners recommended that governments, cooperatives and small farmers gain access to appropriate storage facilities and modern innovations to cut down food losses and prevent the proliferation of aflatoxin in food staples. One such innovation, Ultra Hermetic™ technology, for example, can implement cost-effective grain reserve systems that are easy for smallholder farmers and large scale producers to use and manage.

Strong public-private partnerships can lead to Africa’s food sufficiency.

Strong public-private partnerships can lead to Africa’s food sufficiency.

Unprotected bags of grains are typically covered with tarps in Africa

Unprotected bags of grains are typically covered with tarps in Africa

Hermetic Cocoons can help protect grains against insects and fungus.

Hermetic Cocoons can help protect grains against insects and fungus.

Partners listen in to challenges that concern Africa’s food security.

Partners listen in to challenges that concern Africa’s food security.