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What Should Be Done to Prevent Aflatoxin Formation in Hazelnuts?

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  • What Should Be Done to Prevent Aflatoxin Formation in Hazelnuts?

Molds named "Aspergillus flavus" and "Aspergillus parasiticus" cause the formation of "aflatoxin", which is toxic to humans. Among the products in which aflatoxin is most common, hazelnut comes first.

The first condition for the formation of aflatoxin is the contamination of the food material by the mold spores that cause this toxin formation.

It is very difficult to remove mold from products that come into contact with the soil. Therefore, what needs to be done here is to prevent the development of mold spores in the product and to minimize the contact of the product with the soil.

During sun drying, aflatoxin may occur in the first 6-10 days when water activity is high. In addition, the number of molds increases during periods of heavy rainfall. For this reason, hazelnuts that have fallen to the ground should be prevented from staying on the ground for a long time, especially in rainy weather.

In order to maintain the quality of Turkish hazelnut, which is one of the most important export products of our country, aflatoxin formation in hazelnuts must be prevented. Things to do for this can be listed as follows.

  • 1 or 2 weeks before the harvest, the weeds in the hazelnut garden should be cleaned.
  • It should be ensured that the hazelnuts, which reach the harvest maturity and fall on the ground by themselves, are immediately collected without waiting on the ground.
  • Harvested hazelnuts should be brought to the threshing floor on the same day in jute sacks.
  • Slag hazelnuts should not come into contact with the soil and should be protected from rain. It should be covered with a nylon cover in the form of a gazebo.
  • The grueled hazelnuts should be given to the beetroot after withering in the sun for 1-2 days on concrete blends.
  • Drying process of hazelnuts separated from their husk should be done on a clean concrete blend. In non-concrete blends, the contact of the hazelnut with the soil should be prevented.
  • This operation should be carried out using a cloth or jute awning.
  • The cover covering the hazelnuts left to dry should not be laid directly on the hazelnuts.
  • The cover should be covered over the hazelnut by making a 30 cm high gazebo.
  • Dried shelled hazelnuts should be stored in moisture-free, clean and ventilated warehouses.