Volume 14, Issue 20 (2012)                   JAST 2012, 14(20): 1511-1521 | Back to browse issues page

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Salari R, Habibi Najafi M B, Boroushaki M T, Mortazavi S A, Fathi Najafi M. Assessment of the Microbiological Quality and Mycotoxin Contamination of Iranian Red Pepper Spice. JAST. 14 (20) :1511-1521
URL: http://journals.modares.ac.ir/article-23-9284-en.html
1- Department of Food Science and Technology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Islamic Republic of Iran.
2- Pharmacological Research Center of Medicinal Plants, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Islamic Republic of Iran.
3- Razi Vaccines and Serum Research Institute, Mashhad, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Abstract:   (6451 Views)
The objective of this study was to assess the microbial contamination of Razavi Khorasan (Iran) hot red pepper. The natural occurrence of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in those samples was also investigated. For this purpose, 36 samples of this kind of pepper were collected from a farm and sun-dried. Standard and established methods were used for both microbiological analyses and mycotoxins identification. Total aerobic mesophilic counts of samples varied from 102 to 4×106 cfu g-1. Coliforms were present at high levels in all samples ranging from 1.9×102 to 3.52×106 cfu g-1that may indicate inappropriate hygienic quality of samples. 42% of the samples were of unsatisfactory quality due to the presence of E. coli. In all samples examined, sulphite-reducing clostridia (SRC) was below detection limit and Salmonella spp. was not detected. Fungi were found in all of the collected samples. Mold and yeast were generally high ranging from 2.4×103 to 4.6×106 cfu g-1and the most predominant fungal genera were Aspergillus spp., Penicillium spp and Rhizopus spp. Considering the results obtained, the samples analyzed contain a high level of microorganisms and only two samples (6%) had acceptable levels for all microbial factors according to EU Commission Recommendation (directive2004/24/EC). 69% and 17% of samples were found contaminated with total aflatoxins and ochratoxin A, respectively, that might contribute to health hazards for humans. Overall, The Razavi Khorasan hot red pepper samples collected for this study were contaminated with microorganisms and mycotoxins, which suggests that hygiene practice pre- and post-harvesting must be improved if the region is to exploit fully the potential for this valuable product.
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Article Type: Research Paper | Subject: Food Science and Technology
Received: 2011/06/19 | Accepted: 2011/12/24 | Published: 2012/11/21

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