Some Candida species are considered as human opportunistic pathogens and can play an important role in spontaneous fermentations, but also as beverage-spoiling microorganisms. The aim of this pioneering study was to investigate Candida spp. in hot beverages, which is consumed mostly on the streets in Côte d’Ivoire. Yeast strains were isolated from 400 hot beverages of tea (200) and coffee (200) samples. Yeast cultures were identified at genus and species level by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry at the biobank laboratory of the Pasteur Institute of Côte d’Ivoire. A total of 37 Candida isolates were clearly identified by MALDI-TOF (MS) and revealed 11 species of Candida: C. krusei (21.6%), C. tropicalis (18.9%), C. parapsilosis (16.2%), C. guilliermondii (16.2%), C. pelliculosa (8.1%), C. dubliniensis (5.4%), C. rugosa (2.7%), C. kefyr (2.7%), C. silvicola (2.7%), C. lusitaniae (2.7%) and C. orthopsilosis (2.7%). The results showed that C. krusei and C. tropicalis were the dominant yeasts in hot beverages from street vendors. Candida species were more isolated in tea (10%) than in coffee (8.5%). C. tropicalis, C. pelliculosa and C. krusei were more isolated in Cocody. C. guilliermondii and C. parapsilosis were more isolated in Port-Bouët. C. dubliniensis was only isolated in Yopougon town. The presence of Candida spp. in street hot beverages could cause a sanitary risk to consumers or be used as a novel source for biotechnological uses to be explored in future work.
Key words: Street hot beverages, Candida spp., coffee, tea, food safety.
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