Emmanuel Fagbohun, I. Anibijuwon, Oluwole Egbebi and Opeyemi Lawal
Microbiology of Microbiology
Fungi associated with cocoa beans during storage were surveyed in some stores in Ado, Ise, Emure and Ikere in Ekiti State of Nigeria during July-December 2010. The following fungi were consistently isolated from mouldy cocoa bean samples, namely; Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Botryodiplodia theobromae, Fusarium spp., Mucor spp., Neurospora spp., Penicillium spp., and Phytophthora palmivora. The various fungi were isolated using washing, direct and dilution plate methods respectively. At Ado, the following fungi; Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Botryodiplodia theobromae, Mucor spp., Neurospora spp. Penicillium spp., Phytophthora palmivora, Rhizopus spp. were occasionally isolated from stores that were not properly ventilated. At Ise, Phytophthora palmivora, Mucor spp. and Penicillium spp. were commonly isolated, while Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger and Rhizopus spp. were occasionally isolated in stores where the bags were kept on the bare floor. At Emure, Aspergillus spp. and Phytophthora palmivora were commonly isolated, while Aspergillus spp., Rhizopus spp., Neurospora spp., Botryodiplodia theobromae, Fusarium spp. and Mucor spp., were occasionally isolated from stores with leaking roofs. At Ikere, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Phytophthora palmivora, Fusarium spp., Mucor spp. and Penicillium spp. were consistently isolated while Rhizopus spp., and Botryodiplodia theobromae were occasionally isolated. Some of these fungi gain access to the beans during fermentation, drying, storage and shipment to the foreign countries. Some of these isolated fungi have been reported by many workers to produce toxic substances which have serious health implications in both man and animals.