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Microbiol Insights. 2015 May 21;8:1-6. doi: 10.4137/MBI.S24308. eCollection 2015.

Fungal Presence in Selected Tree Nuts and Dried Fruits.

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Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD, USA.
Geogetown University Medical School, Washington, D.C., USA.
Northeast Regional Laboratory, Food and Drug Administration, Jamaica, NY, USA.


Sixty-four tree nut samples (almonds, pecans, pine nuts, and walnuts) and 50 dried fruit samples (apricots, cranberries, papaya, pineapple, and raisins) were purchased from local supermarkets and analyzed for fungal contamination using conventional culture as well as molecular methods. The results of our study showed that the highest yeast and mold (YM) counts (5.34 log10 CFU g(-1)) were found in walnuts and the lowest in pecans. The most common mold in nuts was Aspergillus niger, relatively low numbers of A. flavus were found across the board, while Penicillium spp. were very common in pine nuts and walnuts. Low levels (2.00-2.84 log10 CFU g(-1)) of yeasts were recovered from only two pine nut samples. Fungal contamination in dried fruits was minimal (ranging from <2.00 to 3.86 log10 CFU g(-1)). The highest fungal levels were present in raisins. All papaya samples and the majority of cranberry, pineapple, and apricot samples were free of live fungi. The most common mold in dried fruits was A. niger followed by Penicillium spp. One apricot sample also contained low levels (2.00 log10 CFU g(-1)) of yeasts.


dried fruits; fungal profiles; tree nuts

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