The Effect of Aframomum Danielli on Ochratoxin A (OTA) Production; an Emerging Hazard in Dry Cocoa Beans

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JUNE 2016
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Forty-eight cocoa beans samples from bruised cocoa pods were analyzed for Ochratoxin A (OTA). Samples of 5000 g cocoa beans each containing initial OTA concentration of 5.66 ng/g were treated with varying quantities of Aframomum danielli spice powder ranging from 5 g to 250 g (w/w). The samples treated were analyzed for OTA concentrations using HPLC with a fluorescent detector. The study was done using response surface design. The effect of the spice powder was evaluated on two (2) quality attribute of cocoa i.e. Free Fatty Acid and Acidity (pH). Results from the study established a clear trend whereby OTA concentrations in treated cocoa samples decreased from 5.66 ng/g to 0.61 ng/g i.e. 89.22% reduction at 65.79 g of A. danielli powder. There was a decline in the development of OTA in the treated samples (i.e. samples treated with A. danielli powder) as compared to the control samples. Validating the results of the A. danielli at 65.79 g within 95% Confident Interval of 0.45 to 0.81 yielded a residual OTA from 5.66 to 0.63 ng/g, Free Fatty Acid from 3.09 to 1.48% and pH from 6.71 to 7.30. In conclusion, A. danielli spice powder exhibited a bio-preservative effect on OTA i.e., inhibit and reduce its growth in OTA contaminated cocoa beans at maximum level of 65.79 g per 5000 g of cocoa beans above which the quality of the beans will be affected.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management,