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Toxins 2013, 5(12), 2310-2323; doi:10.3390/toxins5122310
Article

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

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1 Laboratory of Toxicology, UFR Pharmaceutical and Biological Sciences, University Félix Houphouet Boigny, B.P.V. 34 Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire 2 Laboratory of Agrochemistry and Ecotoxicology, National Laboratory for Agriculture Development, 04 B.P. 612 Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 September 2013 / Revised: 5 November 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 28 November 2013
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Abstract

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.
Keywords: ochratoxin A; cocoa; drying platforms; fermentation materials; Cote D’Ivoire ochratoxin A; cocoa; drying platforms; fermentation materials; Cote D’Ivoire
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Dano, S.D.; Manda, P.; Dembélé, A.; Kouassi Abla, A.M.-J.; Bibaud, J.H.; Gouet, J.Z.; Ze Maria Sika, C.B. Influence of Fermentation and Drying Materials on the Contamination of Cocoa Beans by Ochratoxin A. Toxins 2013, 5, 2310-2323.

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