2018 - InnoStore - INNOvative cereal drying and STORing technology to combat aflatoxin infestation

Weniger Aflatoxin Befall in der Nahrungsmittelkette

Maize is the main staple cereal in many African countries and especially in Kenya where it accounts for about 40% of daily calories. Kenya lies within the equatorial tropics and is renowned as a world hot-spot for aflatoxins, a very dangerous mycotoxin, i.e. toxic and carcinogenic compounds associated with fungal colonisation of foods. Mycotoxins are highly prevalent in Kenya’s food supplies (as in most African countries too). Risks for mycotoxin contamination exist at multiple points in the maize value chain, particularly in the small-scale sector. However, contamination that occurs at the farm level cannot be reversed at later points through proper handling. For this reason, handling that reduces mycotoxin risk is important starting at the farm level and continuing with various actors along the chain from transporters, to grain storage, to small-scale processors and mills, and others. Upgrading technology on small farms is indispensable for the success of mycotoxin control. Rather than rely exclusively on imports indigenous solutions, including grain threshers, dryers, moisture detectors, traditional cold rooms and mud or metal silos, for example, could be optimised to combat the mycotoxin menace and benefit local enterprise and livelihoods, simultaneously. The proposed project seeks to introduce innovative grain storage and handling technology to mitigate aflatoxin contamination in African postharvest chains. The work will take up scientific results out of a successfully finished PhD project, further develop them by intense research work and finally bring them into market by founding a University based start-up. The work will be done mainly in Kenya and focus on maize as the basic staple food but transfer of results to other African countries and further products is targeted.

responsible : Dr. Franz Roman