Paper Details


Fungal contamination in dried fruits and nuts: a possible source of mycoses and mycotoxicoses

Mustansir Abbas, Sehar Afshan Naz, Maryam Shafique, Nusrat Jabeen and Shaheen Abbas

Fungi, being an integral constituent of this earth, cause contamination in many food stuffs including dried fruits and nuts. This fungal contamination not only leads to spoilage of these nutritive substances but also responsible for mycoses and mycotoxicoses among consumers especially immune compromised individuals. Keeping in view this aspect, this study was designed to investigate the fungal contamination in dried fruits and nuts sold in local markets of Karachi city. For this purpose, a total of eighty-four samples of dried fruits and nuts were collected from different local vendors in Karachi. These samples were crushed and screened for the presence of fungal contamination by streaking on Sabouraud`s dextrose agar. The fungal colonies appeared were identified by macroscopic and microscopic study. The isolated strains were further tested for their susceptibility to antifungal agents by using disc diffusion method. The aflatoxigenic strains among isolated Aspergillus species were also detected by using cultural methods (Ammonium hydroxide technique and Ultra Violet Photography technique).The overall results exhibited presence of high fungal load in dried fruits and nuts particularly in raisins and apricots. The samples collected from local markets (Karachi) were found more contaminated as compared to those obtained from their sites of origin (Gilgit). Aspergillus niger was isolated as the most predominant species (25.8%) followed by A. flavus (19.35%) among all isolated fungal strains. Among all A. flavus strains, 18% were found aflatoxigenic as detected by cultural method. Furthermore, the isolated fungal strains exhibited 100% resistance against fluconazole, while high resistance against Amphotericin B was also recorded by many fungal strains. High burden of drug resistant and aflatoxigenic fungi in edible items such as dried fruits and nuts pose an upcoming threat for human population therefore needs prompt management. 

To Cite this article: Abbas, M., S.A. Naz, M. Shafique, N. Jabeen and S. Abbas. 2019. Fungal contamination in dried fruits and nuts: a possible source of mycoses and mycotoxicoses. Pak. J. Bot., 51(4): DOI:

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