Mycotoxins and toxigenic fungi in sago starch from Papua New Guinea

Greenhill, A.R., Blaney, B.J., Shipton, W.A., Frisvad, J.C., Pue, A., and Warner, J.M. (2008) Mycotoxins and toxigenic fungi in sago starch from Papua New Guinea. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 47 (4). pp. 342-347.

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Abstract

Aims: to assay sago starch from Papua New Guinea (PNG) for important mycotoxins and to test fungal isolates from sago for mycotoxin production in culture.

Methods and Results: sago starch collected from Western and East Sepik Provinces was assayed for aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, cyclopiazonic acid, sterigmatocystin, citrinin and zearalenone and all 51 samples were negative. Frequently isolated species of Penicillium (13), Aspergillus (five) and Fusarium (one) were cultured on wheat grain, and tested for the production of ochratoxin A, cyclopiazonic acid, sterigmatocystin, citrinin, patulin and penicillic acid. All 12 isolates of P. citrinin and one of two A. flavipes isolates produced citrinin. A single isolate of A. versicolor produced sterigmatocystin. No other mycotoxins were detected in these cultures.

Conclusions: no evidence was found of systemic mycotoxin contamination of sago starch. However, the isolation of several mycotoxigenic fungi shows the potential for citrinin and other mycotoxins to be produced in sago stored under special conditions.

Significance and Impact of the study: sago starch is the staple carbohydrate in lowland PNG and the absence of mycotoxins in freshly prepared sago starch is a positive finding. However, the frequent isolation of citrinin-producing fungi indicates a potential health risk for sago consumers, and food safety is dependant on promoting good storage practices.

Item ID: 6770
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Citrinin; mycotoxins; penicillium; citrinum; sago starch
ISSN: 1472-765X
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2010 05:26
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8299 Other Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 829999 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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