African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 804

Full Length Research Paper

Isolation and identification of fungi associated with some Libyan foods

S. Alkenz1, A. A. Sassi2*, Y. S. Abugnah2 and M. B. Alryani3
1Faculty of Science, Alzawia University, Libya. 2Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tripoli, Libya. 3Faculty of Science, El-Gable Elgharby University, Libya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Received: 20 April 2015
  •  Accepted: 22 June 2015
  •  Published: 30 July 2015

Abstract

Cereal and its products can be contaminated with fungi in the field, during drying, processing, transportation and subsequent storage, which may lead to secretion of mycotoxins under favourable condition. The aim of this study was the isolation and identification of some fungi associated with four kinds of Libyan food products of different trademarks. Twenty four (24) samples of couscous, macaroni, wheat flour and rice regularly used for human consumption by Libyan family were collected from local markets in the city of Alzawia, west of Tripoli, Libya. The results reveal isolation of 113 isolates belonging to nine genera: Penicillium, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Paecilomyces, Alternaria, Rhizopus, Mucor, Scopulariopsis and Cladosporum. Approximately 24 species were identified to belong to those isolated genera, several of which are known as main producer of mycotoxins especially A. flavus which are known to produce aflatoxins, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus carbonarious, Penicillium chrysogenum and Penicillium verrucosum known to produce ochratoxin and Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium chlamydosporum known to produce fumonisins and trichothecenes. Certainly, the occurrence of such types of mycotoxins can pose a health threatening risk for the consumer of those food items. Presence of these fungi in food products could be due to lack of good agriculture and food manufacturing practices throughout the food chain.
 
Key words: Couscous, macaroni, wheat flour, rice, fungi, Libya.