Ghana

In Ghana, aflatoxin studies have been conducted on maize, peanuts, and their products (Kpodo and Halm, 1990; Kpodo, 1995, 1997, 2001; Awuah and Kpodo, 1996; Kpodo et al., 1996). Studies on aflatoxin contamination of maize stored in some silos and warehouses in parts of Ghana revealed that all the samples contained aflatoxins with 80% of the samples containing aflatoxin levels > 30 ng/g (Kpodo and Halm, 1990). Further studies on the occurrence of mycotoxins in fermented maize dough and "Ga kenkey" (fermented dough boiled for three hours) from markets and processing sites in Accra also were contaminated with aflatox-ins (Kpodo et al., 1996). Thirty-one of 32 fermented maize dough samples contained aflatoxins at levels up to 310 ng/g. Fifteen of 16 Ga kenkey samples from four production sites in Accra were contaminated with aflatoxins at levels up to 200 ng/g (Kpodo et al., 1996).

In a more recent study (Kpodo, 2001), 58/75 Ga kenkey samples again were contaminated with aflatoxins at levels up to 200 ng/g and 84/128 maize kernel samples from markets and maize processing sites throughout the country also contained aflatoxins at levels up to 2,000 ng/g. In this same study, aflatoxins and fumonisins were found to co-occur in 42/90 maize kernel samples and in 41/75 kenkey samples (Kpodo, 2001).

Peanuts, purchased in markets in and around Accra contained 3-220 ng/g aflatoxins (Mintah and Hunter, 1979). In a nation-wide survey of aflatoxin contamination in stored peanuts in Ghana covering 21 markets in all 10 regions of Ghana, total aflatoxin levels ranging from 5.7 to 22,000 ng/g were identified in damaged kernels. In the same study, aflatoxins were not detected in 50% of visibly undamaged kernels tested and were present at low levels (0.1-12 ng/g) in the remaining undamaged kernels (Awuah and Kpodo, 1996). Peanut samples from the 1994 crop season in six locations in the southern parts of Ghana contained aflatoxins at levels ranging from 12-110 ng/g (Kpodo, 1995). In another study, 100 peanut paste samples purchased from selected major markets in all 10 regions of Ghana were screened. Eighty-six samples contained aflatoxins at varying levels with 65 samples containing total aflatoxin levels > 30 ng/g. The highest total aflatoxin level recorded in this study was 3,300 ng/g (Kpodo, 1997).

Apart from maize, peanuts and their products, other miscellaneous commodities have been screened for aflatoxins in Ghana (Kpodo, 2005). Aflatoxins were detected in 3/10 sorghum samples at levels of 7.5, 8.0, and 81 ng/g, 5/8 soybean meal samples at levels up to 36 ng/g, all four cassava flour samples at levels ranging from 4-2100 ng/g, 3/4 cashew paste samples with levels up to 370 ng/g. Relatively lower levels were detected in rice (< 2 ng/g), cocoa cake (< 8 ng/g) and "Agushie" (< 15 ng/g).

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