Microbial populations during maize storage in Cameroon
Key microbiota of maize kernels from two farms in Cameroon were characterised at harvest and during five months of drying / storage in firewood kitchens. Moulds populations shifted from Fusarium sp. to Penicillium and Aspergillus during drying, and aflatoxigenic moulds were absent. Lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus plantarum, Leuconostoc citreum) were only present earlier on, and Enterobacteriaceae became dominant. Common yeasts were Candida quercitrusa (early storage) and Meyerozyma guilliermondii (late storage). Strains of L. plantarum and M. guilliermondii are known to inhibit mould growth and could be used in an energy-efficient system for moist-storage of maize kernels.
Keywords: Maize, mycotoxins, mould, yeast, lactic acid bacteria, biocontrol