Storage fungi and ochratoxin A associated with arabica coffee bean in postharvest processes in Northern Thailand

Maman M., Sangchote S., Piasai O., Leesutthiphonchai W., Sukorini H., Khewkhom N.

Department of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand; Department of Agrotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Muhammadiyah Malang65141, Indonesia


Arabica coffee is one of the most popular varieties globally; however, during postharvest and storage, it can be contaminated by fungi which produce mycotoxins such as ochratoxin A (OTA). The goal of this study was to determine fungal contamination and OTA levels of arabica coffee produced from Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai provinces in Northern Thailand. Aspergillus and Penicillium were mainly isolated and evaluated from coffee samples in the postharvest process. Coffee cherries, parchment coffee, and green coffee beans were commonly found contaminated with fungi. Coffee beans were contaminated with Penicillium, Aspergillus section Flavi, Aspergillus section Nigri, and Aspergillus section Circumdati at 1.2–10%. Fungal contamination in parchment coffee was studied using three drying methods. The results showed that coffee dried in a greenhouse had higher fungal contamination than samples dried on concrete ground or on a bamboo table. Whether basic storage packaging of green coffee beans affects fungal contamination was also investigated. Green coffee beans in three packaging types showed similar levels of Penicillium, while of the three packaging types, coffee in a polypropylene woven bag showed significantly less Aspergillus than those in a ramie sack or a plastic mesh bag. Fourteen strains of Aspergillus section Circumdati were isolated from coffee samples and 5 isolates showed green-blue fluorescence under ultraviolet light suggesting a potential of OTA production. The morphology of Aspergillus section Circumdati isolates were studied and five isolates with similar morphological characters were further identified to the species level based on ITS and the β-tubulin gene regions. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis suggested that four isolates were grouped with A. westerdijkiae and one isolate with A. melleus. Analysis of OTA in parchment coffee, green coffee beans, and roasted coffee was performed using HPLC. The results showed that OTA was detected in only one sample of roasted coffee at 0.39 μg kg−1. © 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Coffee bean; Ochratoxin A; Post harvest; Storage mold


Food Control

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd

Volume 130, Issue , Art No 108351, Page – , Page Count

Journal Link:

doi: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2021.108351

Issn: 09567135



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