This study investigated fungi and total aflatoxins quality of ogiri [fermented melon seed (Citrullus vulgaris] and fermented African oil bean seed (Pentaclethra macrophylla) consumed as soup condiment in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. The ogiri samples were purchased from two major markets in Abakaliki metropolis [meat market (OM and UM) and rice mill market (OR and UR)]. The samples were screened for their pH values, total fungi count and total aflatoxins content. A total of four samples were analzed for six weeks. The total aflatoxins were analyzed using highly sensitive competitive enzyme link immunosorbent assay (ELISA) reader. The ogiri samples were also analyzed for total fungal count using a digital colony counting machine (CCM China). The result showed that all the ogiri samples analyzed were heavily contaminated by the fungal cells. The total mean fungal count for the ogiri processed from melon seed were 2.2 × 107 and 2.2 × 107 cfu/g for OM and OR, respectively while the ogiri processed from African oil bean were 1.4 × 107 and 1.6 × 107 cfu/g for UM and UR samples, respectively. The ogiri samples also contained unacceptable levels of aflatoxins as the average total aflatoxins for all the samples were above the minimum acceptable limits (10 ppm), according to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as reported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of USA. The research also revealed that ogiri samples have high moisture content. The study recommends that more improved process line be put in place to ensure that all ogiri sold in Abakaliki are produced using Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
Key words: Ogiri, aflatoxins, fungi, African oil bean, melon seed, enzyme link immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
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