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Influence of Fermentation and Drying Materials on the Contamination of Cocoa Beans by Ochratoxin A

Author(s): Sébastien Djédjé Dano | Pierre Manda | Ardjourma Dembélé | Ange Marie-Joseph Kouassi Abla | Joel Henri Bibaud | Julien Zroh Gouet | Charles Bruno Ze Maria Sika

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 5;
Issue: 12;
Start page: 2310;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: ochratoxin A | cocoa | drying platforms | fermentation materials | Cote D’Ivoire

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin produced mainly by species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. Contamination of food with OTA is a major consumer health hazard. In Cote D’Ivoire, preventing OTA contamination has been the subject of extensive study. The current study was conducted to evaluate the influence of fermentation and drying materials on the OTA content in cocoa. For each test, 7000 intact cocoa pods were collected, split open to remove the beans, fermented using 1 of 3 different materials, sun-dried on 1 of 3 different platform types and stored for 30 days. A total of 22 samples were collected at each stage of post-harvesting operations. The OTA content in the extracted samples was then quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. OTA was detected in beans at all stages of post-harvesting operations at varying levels: pod-opening (0.025 ± 0.02 mg/kg), fermentation (0.275 ± 0.2 mg/kg), drying (0.569 ± 0.015 mg/kg), and storage (0.558 ± 0.04 mg/kg). No significant relationships between the detected OTA level and the materials used in the fermentation and drying of cocoa were observed.
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