Twenty-five varieties of dates (Phoenix dactylifera) were examined at different maturation stages for total microbial counts, aflatoxins and aflatoxigenic Aspergillus sp. and lactic acid bacteria. The samples were examined as fresh and under simulated storage condition of high humidity. Microbial counts were high at the first stage of maturation (Kimri) and increased sharply at the second stage (Rutab), then decrease significantly at the final dried stage of maturation (Tamr). Aflatoxins were detected in 12% of the samples although aflatoxigenic Aspergillus were detected in 40% of the varieties examined, all at Kimri stage only. Lactic acid bacteria were present only at the Rutab stage in some varieties including all varieties in which aflatoxins or aflatoxigenic Aspergillus were detected. No aflatoxins or aflatoxigenic Aspergillus were detected at the final edible stage of maturation.
- lactic acid bacteria
- date fruits