OCCURRENCE OF ASPERGILLUS SPP., PENICILLIUM SPP. AND AFLATOXINS IN CORN FLOUR SAMPLES USED IN HUMAN CONSUMPTION, PIAUÍ, BRAZIL

F.C. Cardoso Filho R.M Calvet C.M Pereyra M.M.G. Pereira C.A.R. Rosa A.M. Torres M.C.S. Muratori About the authors

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to evaluate the presence of fungi and aflatoxin in a corn product intended for human consumption in the city of Teresina, Piauí, Brazil. Thirty corn flour samples (500 g) from six different trademarks were purchased from local supermarkets in the city of Piaui, Brazil, from January to March 2009. The mycological evaluation was performed immediately, and then aliquots were stored at -4° C, until the aflatoxins analysis. Fungal counts ranged between 2.42 and 4.10 CFU/g. There was no significant difference at p < 0.05 between the brands used. The main Aspergillus species isolated were A. flavus (32.73%), A. oryzae (14.54%). A. niger aggregate (10.91%), A. parasiticus (5.45%), A. fumigatus (5.45%) and A. carbonarius (1.81%), while the Penicillium were P. citrinum (28.88%), P. funiculosum (25.67%) and P. verrucosum (16.22%). No aflatoxins were detected by thin-layer chromatography in corn flour samples. The fungal species potentially capable of producing mycotoxins such as Aspergillus and Penicillium are found in corn flour, but no aflatoxin was found in this kind of product.

KEY WORDS
Mycotoxin; fungi; corn flour

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