HANOI, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Over 36 percent of samples of powder and dried chilies recently taken in Vietnam's 10 localities contain aflatoxin, a poisonous carcinogen, with amounts exceeding the permissible level, local media reported on Friday.
Out of 262 samples taken from production bases, traditional markets and supermarkets in Hanoi capital, Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai in the central region, and Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Thap, Dong Nai, Ba Ria Vung Tau and Binh Phuoc in the southern region, 95 were found to have excessive amounts of aflatoxin which may cause liver cancer, daily newspaper Tuoi Tre (Youth) quoted the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as reporting.
The ministry's inspectors said most of powder and dried chilies production and trading bases are of household scale, so poor processing and preserving conditions lead to high levels of aflatoxin in their finished products.
Aflatoxins are produced by certain molds which grow in soil, decaying vegetation, hay, and grains. They are regularly found in improperly stored staple commodities such as chilies, cassava, corn, cotton seed, peanuts, and a variety of spices.