Konstantin’s PhD project, entitled “Confronting the Uncertainty of Toxic Exposure: Knowledge‐making on Aflatoxins in Kenyan Maize”, investigates how farmers, traders and social institutions produce, share and translate knowledge of the aflatoxins produced by the moulds of the Aspergillus flavus species as by‐products of its metabolism. They are the most toxic and potent hepatocarcinogenic natural compounds ever characterized. Being invisible and tasteless, the toxins can only be detected with specific, laboratory-based testing technologies. In Kenya, farmers with no access to testing methods interact with moulds on an everyday basis. For this, he follows the processes of growing, harvesting, processing, storing, trading, and eating maize to inquire how people without access to testing infrastructure render toxicity accessible and manageable. Local conceptions of aflatoxin focus on the visible mould in everyday food production and consumption practices. This includes constant inspection and separating mouldy kernels and grains during drying and storing to prevent the potentially present mould from spreading and to ensure food safety. So, Konstantin’s research addresses the question of how the actors come to know and how local actors connect this knowledge production to forms of accountability and food safety.

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