Mycobiota of spices and aromatic herbs
Keywords:mycobiota, spices, aflatoxin, ochratoxin A
A total of 67 samples of spices and herbs were tested for mould contamination. From 50.7% of samples, moulds were not isolated. The most dominant genera were Aspergillus and Penicillium. Potential producers of mycotoxins Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp. were tested for the ability to produce some mycotoxins. Isolates of potentially toxinogenic species were found to produce various mycotoxins, namely alfatoxin B1 (Aspergillus flavus), cyclopiazonic acid (Aspergillus flavus), sterigmatocystin (Emericella nidulans), roquefortine C (Penicillium allii, P. chrysogenum, P. crustosum, P. expansum), penitrem A (P. crustosum) and patulin (P. expansum). Some of the tested isolates produce two mycotoxins: A. flavus (aflatoxin B1 and cyclopiazonic acid), P. crustosum (roquefortine C and patulin) and P. expansum (roquefortine C and patulin). None of the tested isolates of Aspergillus section Nigri screened, appeared to produce ochratoxin A. Totally 11 samples were analysed for the presence of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A. Aflatoxin B1 was found in 5 (45.5%) out of 11 samples analysed with levels ranging from 0.14 to 2.9 µg.kg-1. In one sample we detected aflatoxin G1. Ochratoxin A was found in 3 samples (27.3%), with levels ranging from 2.2 to 5.19 µg.kg-1. No sample was contaminated by aflatoxins or ochratoxin A above the maximum admitted threshold established by the European legislation.
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