Fungal Infection and its Effect on Stored Sun-Dried and Kiln-Dried Copra


Author(s): Albert P. Morante, Manuel K. Palomar and Jesusito L. Lim

Abstract

Moisture content and meat surface cleanliness of stored copra influenced the occurrence, growth and abundance of fungi. Aspergillus niger, A. oryzae, A. tamarii, A. flavus var. columnaris, Penicillium nigricans and P. bialoweinzense were found to infect sun-dried copra. Except for the absence of A. niger, the same species were found to infect the stored samples of kiln-dried copra. In addition to the aforementioned species, A. heteromorphus, A. tubigensis, A. flavus and Rhizopus nigricans were observed to infect copra collected from warehouses in Baybay, Leyte, The presence of fungi on copra attracted insect pests which caused additional damage such as holes in the meat and accumulation of copra “dust”.
The color of the oil obtained from infected sun-dried and kiln-dried copra was darker than that of oil obtained from uninfected copra indicating that the presence of fungi during storage might have affected the quality of the oil. The drying method had no effect on the quantity of oil extracted before storage as shown by the comparable amount of oil obtained from sun-dried and kiln-dried copra. Even after 3 months of storage, there was no significant difference in the quantity of oil extracted from infected and uninfected sun-dried and kiln-dried copra.

Keywords : Copra. Sun-dried. Kiln-dried. Moisture content. Oil content. Fungal infection.

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