Proximate composition, fungal isolation and contamination of aflatoxin B<sub>1</sub> in chickpea seeds from the Punjab, Pakistan

Nat Prod Res. 2022 Apr 15:1-9. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2022.2065674. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Chickpea, Cicer arietinum L., is a nutrient rich crop that is widely cultivated and consumed in Pakistan. However, chickpea is highly prone to fungal growth leading to contamination with aflatoxins, the most potent carcinogen found in nature. In this study, fifty chickpea seed samples were collected from the local markets of the Punjab, Pakistan, to evaluate their nutritional quality, fungal and AFB1 contamination. Proximate analysis suggested that chickpea seeds contained 5.5-6.93% moisture, 62.24-63.24% carbohydrates, 22.75-23.44% protein, 4.99-5.4% fat, 5.62-5.84% fiber and 2.92-3.16% ash. Morphological identification techniques revealed fourteen fungal species belonging to six fungal genera from which Aspergillus flavus was the leading contaminant. AFB1 analysis revealed that sixty-two percent samples were contaminated with AFB1. All the AFB1 positive samples contained AFB1 level more than 2 ppb and 12.9% samples contain AFB1 level more than 20 ppb, exceeded the maximum limit (ML) assigned by EU and USA (FDA & FAO) respectively. The results of the present studies reported that chickpea is a highly contaminated commodity in terms of fungi and AFB1 that’s why further investigations and monitoring are required to reduce the fungal and AFB1 contamination. These baseline data are an initial step in the effort to deal with this significant food safety issue.

PMID:35428423 | DOI:10.1080/14786419.2022.2065674

Source: Industry