Contact: Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.
Anatomical parts of smoked-dried bonga fish (intestine, gills and skin) are proteinous formulations used as animal feed and to enrich other food. These parts can be a channel for the transference of harmful mycotoxins to animals as well as humans. The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of mycoflora and physicochemical properties of anatomical parts of smoked-dried bonga fish. Smoked-dried bonga fish was collected from five open markets in Benin City and each separated parts were ground into powdered form. The mycoflora of finely ground parts was enumerated and identified using pour plate and microscopic method. The physicochemical properties were also determined using standard methods. The prevalence of Aspergillus niger, A. flavus, Penicillium sp, Mucor sp, Rhizopus sp and Saccharomyces sp isolated from five markets varied depending on the fish parts. The highest fungal load was recorded for skin (15.00 × 104 cfu/g) and least in gills (2.00 × 104 cfu/g) irrespective of the source. The highest moisture content of 16.58 ± 0.063 % was recorded for fish skin while the least (8.53 ± 0.07 %) was recorded for gills. These isolates which are potential mycotoxin producers can result in public health hazards when consumed.
Keywords: Smoked-dried bonga fish, anatomical parts, physico-chemical properties and mycoflora.