African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 665

Full Length Research Paper

Predicting aflatoxin content in peanuts using ambient temperature, soil temperature and soil moisture content during pod development

Hendrix Muma Chalwe
  • Hendrix Muma Chalwe
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Google Scholar
Obed Isaac Lungu
  • Obed Isaac Lungu
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Google Scholar
Alice Mutiti Mweetwa
  • Alice Mutiti Mweetwa
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Google Scholar
Elijah Phiri
  • Elijah Phiri
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Google Scholar
Jones Yengwe
  • Jones Yengwe
  • Department of Soil Science, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Google Scholar
Samuel Muriu Christopher Njoroge
  • Samuel Muriu Christopher Njoroge
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Chitedze Agricultural Research Station, P. O. Box 1096, Lilongwe, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Rick Lynn Brandenburg
  • Rick Lynn Brandenburg
  • Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Box 7613, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
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David Jordan
  • David Jordan
  • Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, North Carolina State University, Box 7620, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
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  •  Received: 19 November 2018
  •  Accepted: 12 December 2018
  •  Published: 31 March 2019

Abstract

Higher than acceptable aflatoxin levels in peanut kernels (Arachis hypogaea L.) and related products is a worldwide food safety concern. Strict regulatory standards by major importers of peanuts limit the marketability of peanuts for many developing tropical countries including Zambia. The incidence of pre-harvest aflatoxins is strongly linked to soil and weather conditions during pod-development. This study aimed to formulate statistical models to predict total aflatoxin content in peanut kernels using selected environmental factors during pod development. Field experiments were conducted for two years during which the peanut crop was exposed to 84 combinations of ambient temperature, soil temperature and soil moisture content measured during the last 30 days of pod development. These data were used to formulate regression models to predict total aflatoxin content in peanut kernels. Simple linear regression models had R2 values of 0.30 for maximum ambient temperature, 0.24 for soil temperature and 0.38 for soil moisture content. Combining soil moisture content and soil temperature in a multivariate regression model could explain 54% of the variation in total aflatoxin content while a combination of soil moisture content and maximum ambient temperature could only explain 46% of the variation in total aflatoxin content.

 

Key words: Aflatoxin, groundnut, linear regression, statistical model, Zambia.