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Mold flora and aflatoxin contamination of stored and cooked samples of pearl millet in the Paharia tribal belt of Santhal Pargana, Bihar, India



Mold flora and aflatoxin contamination of stored and cooked samples of pearl millet in the Paharia tribal belt of Santhal Pargana, Bihar, India



Applied and environmental microbiology 57(4): 1223-1226



Stored and cooked samples of pearl millet (Pennesetum typhoides), which is regularly consumed as food by the Paharia tribe in the hilly regions of Santhal Pargana, Bihar State, India, that were harvested in January 1989 were analyzed for mold flora, natural occurrence of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, and incidence and levels of aflatoxin B1. Of the 22 fungal species isolated, A. flavus and A. parasiticus were the predominant species (63.8%) during the rainy season, followed by other species of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium, Rhizopus, Helminthosporium, and Curvularia. Screening of 169 A. flavus and A. parasiticus strains showed that 59 of them were toxigenic, producing various combinations of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2. The amounts of aflatoxin B1 ranged between 4 and 30 mg/100 ml of liquid medium. Analysis of stored and cooked samples also revealed a high incidence and alarming levels of naturally produced aflatoxin B1. Forty-nine of 75 stored and 16 of 38 cooked samples contained various combinations of aflatoxins. The levels of aflatoxin B1 ranged between 17 and 2,110 ppb in stored samples and 18 and 549 ppb in cooked samples. The correlation of insect damage with A. flavus and A. parasiticus incidence and quantity of aflatoxin B1 was found to be insignificant.

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Accession: 002163307

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PMID: 1905519


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