ASSESSMENT OF FUNGI AND AFLATOXIN PROFILE IN AFRICAN WALNUT (Tetracarpidium conophorum MULL. [ARG]) FRUIT SNACKS SOLD IN ABUJA, NIGERIA

Author(s): Edeh, Joy Anwuri, Anjorin, Toba Samuel, Asala Shatu Wudiri, Abdurazaq Olusegun Abdulkadir Ekwere, Uwem Akpan
Volume/Issue: Volume 3 , Issue 1 (2023)

ABSTRACT:

The study was carried out to determine the fungal and aflatoxin load of African walnut (Tetracarpidum conophorum (Mull, [Hutch and Dalziel]) fruits marketed in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, Nigeria. The fungal load assessment was carried out using standard mycological methods (Mirabile et al., 2021) while the aflatoxin load was determined with High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). A total of 144 walnuts (72 raw and 72 cooked) were collected in the FCT, Abuja for the study. Fungi identification was done based on colony appearance and microscopic and biochemical evaluation using selective and differential agar. Five fungal species from 3 genera were isolated with Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger having the incidence of 27% and 25% respectively. The highest AFB concentration 1 level in the walnut fruits sold in the FCT was found in the raw samples from Gwagwalada (7.0. μg/kg) which was above the maximum level permissible by EU (4.0 μg/kg) for the raw nuts. Cooked samples from the same Gwagwalda have the highest concentration of 3.2 μg/kg which was also above the permissible safe level of the EU (2.0 μg/kg). Though all the walnut snacks vendored in other markets in the FCT, Abuja are found to be safe in terms of mycotoxin load, walnuts especially the vendored cooked ones should always be checked and confirmed for safety before allowed to be sold or consumed.

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