African Journal of Biotechnology

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Aflatoxin B1 production in chillies (Capsicum annuum L.) kept in cold stores

D Ravi Kiran, K JP Narayana, M Vijayalakshmi


An attempt has been made to isolate and enumerate the mycoflora invading chillies kept in cold storage since May, 1999. Chilli pods were collected from the cold stores at monthly intervals for a period of one year between December 2002 to November 2003. The incidence of molds on unsterilized as well as surface sterilized samples was recorded. Species of Aspergillus found to be dominant on stored chillies were screened for antimicrobial activity. The toxins from A. flavus and A. niger exhibited antibacterial and antifungal activity. Incidences of Alternaria alternata, Fusarium spp. and Mucor spp. was low on stored chillies when compared to Aspergillus spp. Chilli seeds aseptically collected from the pods were also tested for mycoflora. Natural occurrence of aflatoxin B1 in chilli pods kept in cold storage was tested. Results from HPLC analysis revealed that the samples were contaminated with aflatoxin B1 to the extent of 5.5 µg Kg-1.

Key words: Chillies, aflatoxin B1, cold storage.
African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 4 (8), pp. 791-795

AJOL African Journals Online