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Mold Counts and Aspergillus Section Flavi Populations in Rice and Its By-Products from the Philippines

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Mold counts and Aspergillus section Flavi populations in rice and its by-products from the Philippines were examined. The average mold counts of rough rice, brown rice, and locally produced polished rice were 4.1 × 103, 1.0 × 103, and 1.1 × 103 CFU/g, respectively. Average Aspergillus section Flavi counts of the same samples were 3.0 × 102, 1.1 × 102, and 2.6 × 102 CFU/g, respectively. Twenty-seven percent of mold isolates from rough rice, polished rice, and brown rice were section Flavi spp., 31% of which were toxigenic. No section Flavi isolates were obtained from imported rice samples from Thailand and Vietnam. Aspergillus section Flavi was also isolated from rice hull, rice bran, and settled dust from rice milling operations. Toxigenic isolates of both Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus were present in at least one sample of each type of rice and rice by-product except settled dust. Aflatoxins produced in vitro by the isolates ranged from ,1 mg/kg to 6,227 mg/kg. A. flavus isolates produced only B aflatoxins, whereas A. parasiticus isolates produced both B and G aflatoxins. Although total mold counts of Philippine rice and its by-products are within tolerable limits, the establishment of maximum limits in counts of potentially aflatoxigenic species in foods and feeds is important because the mere presence of toxin producers is considered a possible risk factor. The results of this research illustrate the need for strict monitoring of rice during both storage and marketing, especially in warm and humid seasons when infestation and consequent production of aflatoxins by Aspergillus section Flavi is expected.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry and Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Kagawa University, Miki, Kagawa 761-0795, Japan

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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