Fungal quality and phytochemicals of Irvingia gabonensis (Aubry-Lecomte ex O’Rorke) kernels sold in Yenagoa metropolis of Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Ebimieowei Etebu, Dorcas D. S. Bawo


The kernels of Irvingia gabonensis (Aubry-Lecomte ex O’Rorke) are highly valued for their nutritional and health benefits but they are susceptible to storage fungi that could evoke a broad range of toxic properties. Although Irvingia kernels are widely consumed in Bayelsa State the potential hazards and benefits of Irvingia consumption in the State has not been studied. Hence the fungal quality (potential hazards) and phytochemicals (potential benefits) of Irvingia kernels sold in selected markets (Swali, Opolo and Edepie) in the State was investigated. Results showed that Irvingia kernels were sold in open plastic containers. Fungal population on the kernels on display for sale varied significantly (P? 0.05) among the selected markets. Mean Fungal population per gram of Irvingia kernels obtained from Swali, Opolo and Edepie markets were 1.17E+05, 2.40E+05 and 6.92E+05 respectively. Five genera (Rhizopus, Mucor, Aspergillus, Penicillium and Candida) of fungi were isolated across all three markets. Phytochemical analyses showed that Irvingia kernels sold in all markets under study possessed alkaloids, saponins, tannins and flavonoids, known to play significant roles in human medicine. Some of the fungi found to colonize the kernels have been implicated in the production of potentially potent toxins under suitable conditions. We recommend that Irvingia kernels on sale should be monitored regularly by relevant government agencies to ensure the safety of consumers, whilst the conditions under which postharvest fungi would produce mycotoxins in Irvingia kernels during storage are studied.

Keywords: Irvingia gabonensis, Postharvest fungi, Aspergillus spp. Penicillium spp.,

Phytochemicals, Fungal quality


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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