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Microbiological Quality of Various Medicinal Herbal Teas and Coffee Substitutes

Author(s): V.H. Tournas | E.J. Katsoudas

Journal: Microbiology Insights
ISSN 1178-6361

Volume: 1;
Start page: 47;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Moulds | yeasts | APCs | herbal teas | coffee substitutes

Various herbal teas including German chamomile, Chrysanthemum Vascuflow herb tea, hop, jasmine and orange flowers, sweet marjoram, spearmint and thyme leaves, and papaya-mint tea as well as coffee substitutes (Bambu instant Swiss, Teeccino chocolate-mint, and Teeccino Mediterranean Espresso) were analyzed for fungal contamination and the presence of aerobic mesophilic bacteria (APC). The results of this investigation showed that fungal counts reached levels as high as 5.8 × 105 colony forming units (cfu) per gram. German chamomile harbored the highest fungal contamination. The most common fungi found in herbal teas were Aspergillus niger, Penicillium spp., Eurotium rubrum, E. chevalieri, A. flavus, Fusarium spp., Alternaria alternata, and yeasts. Among the coffee substitutes, only the chocolate-mint coffee was contaminated with low numbers (
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