Mycoflora and influence of moisture on the mycological profile and their mycotoxigenic potential in some imported spices and seasonings on the Ghanaian market

Joshua Addo, George Tawia Odamtten, George Anyebuno


The liberalized Ghanaian economy has resulted in the influx of many internationally accepted and shoddy goods into the country. This has spurred on the study of some four of such spices, (Seasoned Meat Tenderizer, Poultry Seasoning, Ground Cinnamon and Sausage Spices) with the view to ascertaining their mycological qualities when expose to different Environmental Relative Humidity (ERH) and mycotoxin contamination using the conventional methods. The samples absorbed moisture differently at 75%, 85% and 95% ERHs. The initial resident mycoflora population on the samples varied according to the isolation media but gave a wider spectrum of the resident mycoflora. There was commensurate increase in resident mycoflora population of nearly 2 log cycles as the incubation ERH increase from 75%-95%. Each sample recorded ten (10) fungal genera, with six (6) common groups (Absidia, Aspergillus, Eurotium, Mucor, Penicillium, Rhizopus). Fungal species diversity encountered on all samples can be ranked as follows: Seasoned Meat Tenderizer (24 species)> Sausage Spices (19 species) > Ground Cinnamon (18 species) > Poultry Seasonings (17 species). Variable vegetative and radial growth of three dominant Aspergillus (A. niger, A. flavus, A.fumigatus) sspecies on spice-based media, indicated they could serve as suitable substrates for growth and mycotoxins formation. Of all spices tested only Sausage Spices contained Aflatoxin B1 (1.951 µg/kg), Aflatoxin B2 (0.552 µg/kg) and Ochratoxin A (26.470 µg/kg). Results obtained underscores need for continuous use of existing Regulatory Specifications to monitor quality of imported and locally manufactured dehydrated foods and spices so as to protect the populace from consuming products laden with mycoflora and mycotoxins detrimental to their health.


Spices and seasoning powders; mycoflora profile; aflatoxin; Ochratoxin A; Environmental Relative Humidity; Isotherms

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Print ISSN: 2522-6746 : Online ISSN: 2522-6754
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