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Eniola ONI

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Mould and Aflatoxin Contamination of Stored Maize in Nigeria: An Implication for Public Health

Eniola ONI

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Eniola ONI

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Biography

Postharvest practices by rural farmers in Nigeria cause loss and Contamination that reduce supply of maize and these could arise at any stage from farm to fork. The aim of this study was to investigate the best drying method for maize, determine the mould diversity and proffer solutions to contamination caused by aflatoxins. Three varieties of freshly harvested maize were dried using three drying methods (modern fabricated solar dryer, open air drying and biomass hybrid dryer) to various categories of moisture contents of (15%,12% and 10%). A total of 162 samples of maize grains were collected at harvest and stored for a period of one year with microbiological tests and aflatoxin quantification carried out at monthly intervals using standard microbiological procedures and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Aflatoxigenic potentials of isolates were determined using Neutral Red Desiccated Coconut Agar “NRDCA”. All analysed samples recorded a total of 326 isolates (96 from freshly harvested maize and 230 from stored maize). Eleven fungal genera were identified with Aspergillus flavus having the highest occurrence of (33.3%)(34.3%), Alternaria spp (17.7.3%)(23.9%), Aspergillus niger (6.3%)(17.0%), Rhizopus (33.3%)(0%), Aspergillus fumigatus (0%)(7.4%), Fusarium spp and Penicillium spp (3.1%)(4.8%), Aspergillus tamari, Cladosporum cladosporiodes and Aspergilus restictus (0%)(2.6%) and Neurospora spp (3.1%)(0%) in the freshly harvested and stored maize samples respectively during dry and wet seasons. Adoption of drying method using the modern fabricated solar dryer helped control and reduce the duration of drying and contamination by moulds and aflatoxins.

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