The objective of the present study was to conduct a survey to evaluate the postharvest handling of peanuts at farm level and to screen and identify the strains of Aspergillus and Penicillium species from peanut kernels in central Myanmar. A total of 640 samples from the stores of farmers, collectors, and wholesalers were collected and seeded for growth, isolation, and characterization of fungi. Out of 85 isolates, Aspergillus flavus (38), A. niger (20), A. terreus (15), and Penicillium citrinum (12) were identified and confirmed by molecular techniques including DNA sequencing using internal transcribed spacer (ITS5/4) and beta‐tubulin (Bt2a/2b) primer sets. The study indicates different factors associated with fungal contamination at farm level peanut storage and warrants an immediate attention of food safety regulatory authorities to design and implement strategies for postharvest handling and storage practice in developing countries to minimize fungal contamination.
In developing countries like Myanmar, there are lack of food safety practices and policies regarding the food storage, handling, and farmer education. The current study indicates the different storage methods for peanut kernels at farm level and their influence on prevalence of fungi. The study will give a deep insight to the policy makers to design food safety practices at farm level and educate the farmers to adopt the better practices to assure the consumer health and satisfaction in developing countries.