Isolation and Identification of Fungi Contaminating Potato Chips Intended for Children’s Consumption and Assessing their Toxins
Keywords:Contaminated Chips, Mycotoxins, Aflatoxins, Zearalenone, Ochratoxin
The study aims to investigate the presence of fungi and their toxins in different samples of potato chips imported from different origins. Fifteen chips’ samples were collected from the local markets of Mosul city/Iraq which included various global origins with several flavors of pepper, paprika, hot spices, and cheese. It appears that all potato chips’ samples were contaminated with fungi and mycotoxins. It was evident that Penicillium spp. were the most predominant fungi followed by Aspergillus spp. and Rhodotorella spp. came third, while Geotrichumspp and yeasts came in fourth. Potato chips from the brand Pringles was contaminated with Penicillium spp., and Geotrichum spp. at a percentage of 50, 30% respectively. The Hum Hum brand samples were contaminated with A.terrus and Penicillium spp. at 40, 30% respectively. Dream brand samples were contaminated with A.jamanicum., and Penicillium., at percentages of 30, 60% respectively. Lays1 with tomato ketchup samples were contaminated with four genera: Penicillium spp., Mucor spp., Rhodotorellaspp., and yeast with percentages of 40, 20, 10, and 10% respectively. Lays2 with French cheese variety was contaminated with the same fungi of laystype but with the addition of Aspergilli (A. versicolor and A. niger), which were 60 and 30% respectively. The Patos brand potato chips were contaminated with two Aspergilli (A.astus and A.jamanicum), at 30 and 40% respectively. Zearalenone was found to be the highest contaminant (13.81ppm) of mycotoxins followed by aflatoxins (0.26ppm). Ochratoxin was the least contaminant (0.16ppm) in the analyzed potato chips. It can be concluded that all tested potato chips’ samples showed the presence of fungi and mycotoxins. However, all mycotoxins (aflatoxin, ochratoxin, and zearalenone) in the food commodities were within the permissible limits intended for human consumption.
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