Deteriorative changes in maize kernels due to Aspergillus flavus Link. and Fusarium verticillioides (Sacc.) Nirenberg

Francis Collins MUGA, Tilahun Seyoum WORKNEH, Moses Okoth MARENYA


The study aimed at measuring changes in chemical composition of maize kernels due to Aspergillus flavus Link. and Fusarium verticillioides (Sacc.) Nirenberg infection. The samples of maize kernels were incubated at 28 °C for 7, 14, 21, and 28 days. The samples were analysed for mycotoxin, moisture, crude fat, crude protein, crude ash, and crude fibre. Maize kernels inoculated with A. flavus and F. verticillioides exhibited a significant decrease in crude fat. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination increased in maize kernels inoculated with A. flavus, and fumonisin B1 (FB1) in kernels inoculated with F. verticillioides. Crude ash and crude fibre content showed no changes. Incubation time significantly affected AFB1 and FB1 contamination levels, moisture, crude fat, and crude protein contents. AFB1 and FB1 contamination were significantly correlated with crude fat degradation. The tested strains had similar deteriorative effects on maize kernels. The significant changes in the proximate composition were only observed in maize kernels with mycotoxin contamination above the regulatory limit of 10 µg kg−1, thus not fit for human consumption.


aflatoxin; fumonisin; maize kernel; mycotoxin; proximate components; fungal species

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