The biodiversity of Aspergillus section Flavi and aflatoxins in the Brazilian peanut production chain

Ligia Manoel Martins, Anderson de Souza Sant'Ana, Maria Helena Pelegrinelli Fungaro, Josue Jose Silva, Maristela da Silva do Nascimento, Jens Christian Frisvad, Marta Hiromi Taniwaki

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A total of 119 samples of peanut were collected throughout the peanut production chain in Sao Paulo State, Brazil. The peanut samples were directly plated for determination of percentages of infection and a polyphasic approach was used to identify Aspergillus section Flavi species. Further, the potential for aflatoxin production by the isolates was tested using the agar plug technique and the presence of aflatoxins in peanuts was assessed using an immunoaffinity column followed by quantification using HPLC with reverse phase column and fluorescence detection. The limit of detection and quantification were 0.05 and 0.17 mu g/kg for total aflatoxins, respectively. Four species of Aspergillus section Flavi were isolated: A. caelatus (11), A. flavus (515), A. parasiticus (17) and A. tamarii (13). All isolates of A. parasiticus were able to produce aflatoxin B and G whereas aflatoxin B was produced by 50% of A. flavus isolates. Aflatoxins were found in 12 samples at concentrations ranging from 0.3 to 100 mu g/kg. The data reported in this study add information on the occurrence and biodiversity of fungi in peanuts at several stages of the production chain. The occurrence of aflatoxins is also of major relevance for continuous monitoring and assessment of likely exposure of consumers to aflatoxins through consumption of peanuts. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Research International
Pages (from-to)101-107
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Open Access funded by Brazilian Government.


  • Aspergillus section Flavi
  • Peanut chain
  • Aflatoxins

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