Effective approaches for early identification and proactive mitigation of aflatoxins in peanuts: An EU–China perspective

Rudolf Krska, John Leslie, Simon Haughey, Moira Dean, Yoneal Bless, Oonagh McNerney, Michelle Spence, Chris Elliott

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Nearly 700,000 tonnes of peanuts are consumed annually in Europe. In the last5 years, peanuts imported from China exceeded legal European Union (EU) afla-toxin limits more than 180 times. To prevent and mitigate aflatoxin contamina-tion, the stages of the peanut chain most vulnerable to contamination must beassessed to determine how to interrupt the movement of contaminated produce.This paper discusses effective approaches for early identification and proactivemitigation of aflatoxins in peanuts to reduce a contaminant that is an impedi-ment to trade. We consider (i) the results of the EU Commission’s Directorate-General (DG) for Health and Food Safety review, (ii) the Code of Practice forthe prevention and reduction of aflatoxins in peanuts issued by Food and Agri-culture Organization/World Health Organization, (iii) the results from previ-ous EU–China efforts, and (iv) the latest state-of-the-art technology in pre- andpostharvest methods as essential elements of a sustainable program for inte-grated disease and aflatoxin management. These include preharvest use of bio-control, biofertilizers, improved tillage, forecasting, and risk monitoring basedon analysis of big data obtained by remote sensing. At the postharvest level, weconsider rapid testing methods along the supply chain, Decision Support Sys-tems for effective silo management, and effective risk monitoring during dry-ing, storage, and transport. Available guidance and current recommendationsare provided for successful practical implementation. Food safety standards alsoinfluence stakeholder and consumer trust and confidence, so we also considerthe results of multiactor stakeholder group discussions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Early online date31 May 2022
Publication statusEarly online date - 31 May 2022


  • aflatoxin
  • food safety
  • mycotoxins


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