Mycobiota and mycotoxins in Brazilian peanut kernels from sowing to harvest.
The total mycobiota and the mycotoxin contamination of peanuts were analyzed in plants collected at different stages of the pod maturity sampled in Junqueirópolis, at São Paulo State (Brazil). The prevalent peanut mycobiota were Fusarium spp. and Aspergillus flavus, present in 26% and 17% respectively of the samples analyzed. In soil, the genus Penicillium and Fusarium were most frequently detected, and A. flavus was detected in 8% of the samples. The screening of mycotoxins indicated that aflatoxins and cyclopiazonic acid were present the highest incidence, being detected in 32% of the samples, in concentrations, respectively, from 4.20 µg/kg to 198.84 µg/kg and from 260 µg/kg to 600 µg/kg. Fumonisins were not detected by HPLC. All data were correlated with the occurrence of wind-dispersed fungi and the environmental and soil conditions. Results indicate that good management of the agricultural environment may offer a way to reduce mycotoxins and the toxigenic fungal contamination in peanuts preharvest because the pods are exposed to different environmental conditions during their formation until harvest, and the optimal conditions for mycotoxin production and fungal growth are frequently found in the crop fields.