MYCOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF DRIED FISHES COLLECTED FROM OPEN MARKETS WITH SPECIAL FOCUS ON MYCOTOXIN PRODUCTION

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June – July, 2021, vol. 10, no. 6
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Article type: Food Sciences of Food Sciences
Abstract: Dried fishes are salted and sun dried fish products consumed by large population owing to their nutrient richness, flavor and long shelf life properties. Contamination of dried fishes by mycotoxin producing fungi pose serious threat to food safety and public health. A total of 27 samples belonging to three varieties of dried fishes collected in Chennai city, India were screened for the isolation of mycotoxin producing fungal contaminants. Mycological examination of samples revealed the prevalence of six types of fungi viz., A. parasiticus (27.27%), A. niger (22.72%), A. fumigatus (18.18%), Penicillium sp. (18.18%), Cladosporium sp. (9.09%) and Euratium sp. (4.54%). Detection using thin layer chromatography indicated that 18.18% of isolates belonging to A. parasiticus, A. fumigatus, Penicillium sp. were positive, while A. niger, Cladosporium sp., and Euratium sp. were negative for mycotoxin production. Further to the bioassay with Artemia larvae, substantial lethality was observed with the mycotoxin of A. parasiticus (100%), followed that of by A. fumigatus and Penicillium sp. (each 50%). The HPLC studies indicated that the mycotoxin produced by A. parasiticus was Aflatoxin G2. Need for proper hygienic practices during processing and handling of dried fishes in order to avoid fungal contamination and likelihood mycotoxicosis in consumers has been suggested.
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