Occurrence of Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A during Merken Pepper Powder Production in Chile

Costa, Jessica; Santos, Carla; Soares, Celia; Rodriguez, Rodrigo; Lima, Nelson; Santos, Cledir


Berry fruits of Capsicum annuum L. cv. "Cacho de Cabra" are used for the manufacture of a traditional pepper powder known as Merken. In the present study, aflatoxins (AFs) and ochratoxin A (OTA) contamination in berry fruits of C. annuum was determined at harvest, drying, and smoking stages of Merken production, in cumin and coriander seeds used as Merken ingredients, and in the final packaged Merken produced by local farmers. Additionally, Merken samples from local markets in the region of La Araucania (Chile) were also evaluated. Chromatographic analysis was based on a qualitative method. AFs and OTA were not detected on pepper pods and seeds. There was no detection of AFs and OTA on cultured Aspergillus and Penicillium strains isolated from pepper pods, cumin and coriander seeds and Merken. The lack of AFs/OTA-producers among the isolated fungal species can explain and support the absence of contamination in pepper pods. In contrast, the AFB(1) was detected in 75% of Merken obtained from farmers and 46% of Merken samples purchased from local markets; while OTA was detected in 100% of Merken samples obtained from farmers and local markets. In the Merken production chain, the harvest and post-harvest are key stages for fungal growth while the commercialization stage is highly susceptible to AFs and OTA contamination.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000896372500001 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: FOODS
Volumen: 11
Número: 23
Editorial: MDPI
Fecha de publicación: 2022


Notas: ISI