Mycotoxin Detection Options

Aflatoxin in peanut and peanut products: comparative study on analytical methods for detection of aflatoxin

Project compares testing methods for cost, accuracy, time
PMIL Lead Scientist Professor Kumar Mallikarjunan receives the Kishida International Award

There are numerous methods to measure aflatoxin levels and no one method is considered standard for testing peanuts. Even among PMIL collaborators, different evaluation methods have been reported in individual studies, making the comparison of results difficult. This project conducted a systematic comparative study to evaluate and report existing/emerging analytical methods for aflatoxin determination in peanuts and peanut products. A blind test, in which the variety of peanut products was naturally and artificially contaminated with aflatoxin, was prepared to test the current available analytical methods within the collaborating institutions/analysis laboratories. Results from the project were helpful to document the existing methods, the advantages/disadvantages of each method, and which method is best for each objective.

This project compares existing analytical methods – Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), Fluorometric method, High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), lateral flow device (LFD), and the mReader – on the basis of ease of use (time required for sample prep, and interpretation), cost per sample, sensitivity, and repeatability to detect and monitor aflatoxin in peanut products.

Researchers then developed a recommended procedure to be adopted by PMIL projects across the program.

Lead Scientist

Dr. P. Kumar Mallikarjunan, Associate Professor

More about Mallikarjunan

Research Collaborators

Chitedze Mycotoxin Laboratory

  • Dr. Limbikani Matumba

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

  • Dr. Hari Kishan Sudini

Makerere University

  • Dr. Archileo Kaaya

Malawi Bureau of Standards

  • Dr. Stephen Kuyeli

Uganda National Bureau of Standards

  • Dr. Tashobya Dean

University for Development Studies

  • Dr. Nelson Opoku

University of Georgia

Partner Institution

Virginia Tech Logo

Research Locations

Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, and Uganda


June 19, 2014 - July 31 2017

Award No.


Sub-Award Amount