Fungi and aflatoxins associated with spices in the Sultanate of Oman

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Abstract

One hundred and five samples of seven spices (cumin, cinnamon, clove, black pepper, cardamom, ginger, and coriander) were purchased from five popular companies in the Sultanate of Oman. The spices were surveyed for the mycoflora and aflatoxins. Twenty fungal species were isolated in which Aspergillus flavus, A. niger. Penicillium, Rhizopus, and Syncephalastrum racemosum were the most dominant. When colony forming units per gm (cfu/gm) of fungi were compared, significant differences were found among spices and companies. Of the seven spices studied, clove was found to be the least contaminated, while cumin was the most contaminated. None of the 15 selected samples of the spices contaminated by A. flavus were found to contain aflatoxins. Nevertheless, nine isolates (45%) of the twenty A. flavus strains screened for aflatoxins were aflatoxigenic. The moisture content of most of the spices was below the maximum standard limit. The results showed that the spices were contaminated by some fungi that might constitute health hazards for humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalMycopathologia
Volume155
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • Aflatoxins
  • Aspergillus flavus
  • Mycoflora
  • Spices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science

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