The isolation and identification on fungi assessment of fruits in Utako market is a novel discovery which exposed array of fungi which are pathogenic to man and animals. The identified fungi associated with spoilt fruits in the study area includes; A.niger, A.flavus, A.versicollum, F.spp ,A.f. apinis,and P.chrysogerum.Suggeting that these fungal organisms could be responsible for the fruit spoilage.
Previous literature indicates that processes such as harvesting, storing, packing and transporting. Fruits may encounter physical injury that increases post-harvest loss and the possibility of fungal contamination.
Moreover the problem can be enhanced from poor management of fruits in Utako market. Also market condition that favors contamination can be worsened by poor hygiene of the vendors, using microbial unsafe containers, or tables which are used in arranging the fruits, poor handling practice and poor environmental conditions such as sanitarily unsafe marketing environment. The consequences of the problems could be increased loss of fruits due to microbial spoilage and the existence of some human pathogens.
Out of the fungi isolated in this study, A niger which causes a disease called black mold on certain fruits and vegetables and produces mycotoxins called ochratoxins that can be harmful to human beings and animals had the highest occurrence(40%),followed by P. Digitatum (15%),While C.Tropicals was (6%),then Mucor specie(10%),which is a description of mycelium (branching hyphae, hyaline, non-septated.),the next specie was A.versicullom was the least of them all which had (5%) which is a pink Aspergillus and causes cancer in humans, colony is slow growing.
Then F.spp of (12%). Then lastly (12%) of the fruits were pure culture i.e. had no growth on PDA.
Most of the fungal organisms isolated in this study play a pivotal role in the deterioration of food and feed systems and some of them are also able to produce toxic compounds for humans and animals.
Also A.f alpinis, had some occurrence, colonies are fast growing.
The protection of fruits or fruit products using LAB (lactic Acid Bacteria), plays a vital role in as natural preservatives. And this LAB is mainly used because of the production of anti-fungal compounds such as carboxylic acid, fatty acids, ethanol, carbon dioxide, hydrogen peroxide, and bacteriocins.
Aphanoascus fulvescens (A.F.apinis) is a soil-borne keratinolytic ascomycete that occasionally causes dermatomycosis in humans and animals.
The control group showed no fungal growth on SDA after healthy fruits were sterilized with 75% ethanol and 25% distilled water indicating that the isolated fungi were introduced post-harvest from farms through fruit vendors and finally to consumers.
Moreover, fresh fruits recently have been identified as a significant source of plants and human pathogens and chemical contaminants that pose a potential threat to human health worldwide. Because it is likely to be eaten raw by scavenging animals especially ruminants, humans also stands a risk of getting infected with pathogenic fungi from fruits and vegetables as a result of poor processing methods.
More so, fresh fruits pose potential food safety hazard and poor type of microbiologically lethal processing regime could lead to potential food safety problems.
Poor handling can damage fresh fruits, rendering their products susceptible to the growth or survival of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms.
5.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
This study has shown that A.niger, A.flavus, A.versicollum, F.spp,C. Tropicals. P.chrysogerum, M.specie, pure culture and yeast.(saccharomyces specie).Were isolated from spoilt pineapple, watermelon, tomato, apples and orange.
These pathogenic fungi species associated with fruit spoilage are of economical and public health significance. Care should be taken during handling of these fruits, technology based modern preservative methods such as pasteurization, vacuum packing, radiation, pulsed electric field electroporation, high pressure food preservation, vendors should also be making use of hand sterilizer very often, using clean and pure water to wash them, sterilizing the tables they keep the fruits on and bio preservation are suggested to enhance the quality of fruits.