International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences (IJCMAS)
IJCMAS is now DOI (CrossRef) registered Research Journal. The DOIs are assigned to all published IJCMAS Articles.
Index Copernicus ICI Journals Master List 2022 - IJCMAS--ICV 2022: 95.28 For more details click here
National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) : NAAS Score: *5.38 (2020) [Effective from January 1, 2020] For more details click here

Login as a Reviewer

See Guidelines to Authors
Current Issues
Download Publication Certificate

Original Research Articles                      Volume : 13, Issue:3, March, 2024

PRINT ISSN : 2319-7692
Online ISSN : 2319-7706
Issues : 12 per year
Publisher : Excellent Publishers
Email : /
Editor-in-chief: Dr.M.Prakash
Index Copernicus ICV 2018: 95.39
NAAS RATING 2020: 5.38

Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci.2024.13(3): 1-26

Microbiological quality of dehydrated aromatic condiments and spices used in Food: the danger of contamination and level of toxigenic agents
1Laboratório de Pesquisa, Faculdade Educare, MT, Brazil
2Centro Universitário de Várzea Grande (UNIVAG), Várzea Grande/MT, Brazil.
3Laboratório Central de Saúde Pública do Estado de Mato Grosso – LACEN/MT. Brazil
4Pronto Socorro Municipal – Prefeitura Municipal de Cuiabá, MT, Brazil
5Instituto de Saúde Coletiva, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso – UFMT/MT. Brazil
6Laboratório Carlos Chagas, Grupo Sabin, Cuiabá/MT, Brazil
7Prog. Pós Graduação em Biociência Animal, Universidade de Cuiabá (UNIC), Cuiabá/MT, Brazil
8Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de São Paulo – ICB/USP/SP. Brazil
9Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso – UFMT/MT. Brazil
*Corresponding author

Thirteen types of condiments and aromatic spices (cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, fennel, calabrian pepper, ginger, garlic, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, bay leaves, oregano and nutmeg) from street markets and of supermarkets in the city of Cuiabá – MT, Brazil, were evaluated for contamination by fungi and bacteria. Of the 78 plates containing microbiological samples, 68 (87.2%) presented a positive result, isolating 58 species, 43 (74.1%) of filamentous fungal species, 10 (17.2%) of yeast-like fungal species, with two groups identified only at the genus level and 5 (8.6%) bacterial species identified. The values of colony-forming units per gram of product (CFU/g) detected in samples of condiments sold in free fairs and industrialized markets were higher than those of the federal reference standard, varying up to 8.2×104 CFU/g. There was no significant difference between these values. Aspergillus spp. was the most isolated genus, with the species Aspergillus niger predominating, followed by species from the genus Penicillium, Cladosporium and Fusarium. Among the yeasts found, the most prevalent genera were Candida spp., Saccharomyces spp. and Rodothorula spp. with the highest amount of CFU/g isolated in cinnamon bark samples. The bacteria were the least isolated, with the highest CFU/g value coming from the cumin Streptococcus gengivalis (3.2x103). The condiments analyzed in this study showed contamination by potentially pathogenic fungi and mycotoxin producers, the isolated bacteria may pose a risk to the health of consumers.

Keywords: Condiments,fungal and bacterial contamination, aromatic spices, danger to human health


Affonso RS, Rennó MN, Slana GBCA, França TCC. Chemical and biological aspects of clove essential oil. Rev. Virtual Quim, 2012, 4(2), 146–161. https://doi:10.5935/1984-6835.20120012.

Ahene RE, Odamtten GT, Owusu E. Fungal and Bacterial contaminants of six species and spice products in Ghan. African J Environmental Sci and Technology, 2011, 5(9), 633–640.

Al-abas NA, Al-Rubaye AF, Aziz HW. Detection of Fungi Associated with Some Spices in Local Market in Hilla City (Babylon). Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, 2020, 11(2), 2162.

Aponte M, Ventorino V, Blaiotta G, Volpe G, Farina V, Avellone G, Lanza CM, Moschetti G. Study of green Sicilian table olive fermentations through microbiological, chemical and sensory analyses. Food Microbiology, 2010, 27(1), 162–170.

Azeredo CMO & Soares MJ. Combination of the essential oil constituents critral, eugenol and thymol enhance their inhibitory effect on Crithidia fasciculata and Trypanosoma cruzi growth. Rv Bras Farmacognosia 2013; 23(5):762-68.

Beraldo C, Daneluzzi NS, Scanavacca J, Doyama JT, Fernandes Júnior A, Moritz CMF. Efficiency of cinnamon and clove essential oils as sanitizers in the food industry. Pesq Agropec Trop Goiânia, 2013, 43, 436–440. https://doi:10.1590/S1983-40632013000400006.

Binatti TT, Goromel MR, Fazio MLS. Antimicrobial Action of Spices on Bacterial Development. Goromel MR, Fazio MLS, 2016, 30, 260–261.

Brasil (2011). ANVISA – Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária. RDC No. 7, of February 18, 2011. Provides for maximum tolerated limits (LMT) for mycotoxins, Aflatoxins BG and M1, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, fumonisins B1+B2, zearalenone and patulin in foods for human consumption.  . 

Brasil. (2005). RDC no. 276, of September 22, 2005. Technical Regulation for Spices, Seasonings and Sauces.

Brasil. (2020). Epidemiological Bulletin 32.

Brasil. (2022). Normative Instruction n  161 de 1 de julho de 2022.

Carmello CR, Magri MMR, Cardoso JC. Cinnamon extract and sodium hypochlorite in the in vitro control of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici and Alternaria alternata from tomato. Journal of Phytopathology, 2022, 170(11–12), 802–810.

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, & Office of Regulatory Affairs. (2023). CPG Sec 525.750 Spices - Definitions.

Cighir A; Curtic?pean A; Mare AD, Cighir T; Gabor MR, Toma F, Man A. Fungal and Mycotoxin Contamination of Green Leaf Spices Commercialized in Romania: A Food Choice Perspective. Sustainability 2023, 15, 16437.

Costa J, Rodriguez R, Garcia-Cela E, Medina A, Magan N, Lima N, Battilani P, Santos C. Overview of Fungi and Mycotoxina Contamination in Capsicum Pepper and in Its Derivatives. Toxins 2019, 11(27):1-16. https://doi:10.3390/toxons11010027.

Cunha Neto A, Vieira da Silva F, Machado AP. Incidence of Potentially Toxigenic Fungal Species in Spices. Ensaios e Ciência: Ciências Biológicas, Agrárias e Da Saúde, 2013, 17(1), 9–18.

European Commission (2010). Commission Regulation (EC) No. 165/2010 of 26 Feb 2010 amending Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs as regards aflatoxins. Official Journal of the European Union, 50, 8-12. Acesso 02 Jan 2024. Disponível em: 

European Commission (2012). Commission Regulation (EC) No. 594/2012 of 5 Jul 2010 amending Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 as regards the maximum levels of the contaminants ochratoxin A, non dioxin-like PCBs and melamine in foodstuffs. Official Journal of the European Union, 176, 43-45. Acesso 02 Jan 2024. Disponível em:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, & International Atomic Energy Agency. (2001). Manual on the application of the HACCP system in mycotoxin prevention and control

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2023). Sustainabile Development Goals. Research and the production sector seek to contain mycotoxins in wheat and its derivatives.

Freire FCO, Kozakiewicz Z, Paterson RRM. Mycoflora and mycotoxins in Brazilian black pepper, white pepper and Brazil nuts. Mycopathologia, 2000, 149, 13–19.

Furlaneto L; Mendes S. Microbiological Analysis of Spices sold in street markets and hypermarkets. Alim. Nutr., Araraquara, 2004, 15(2):87-91.

Garcia MV, Mallmann CA, Copetti MV. Aflatoxigenic and ochratoxigenic fungi and their mycotoxins in spices marketed in Brazil. Food Research International, 2018, 106, 136–140.

Gatti MJ, Fraga ME, Magnoli C, Dalcero AM, Rocha Rosa CA. Mycological survey for potential aflatoxin and ochratoxin producers and their toxicological properties in harvested Brazilian black pepper. Food Additives & Contaminants, 2003, 20(12), 1120–1126.

Gil L, Ruiz P, Font G, Manyes L. An overview of the applications of hazards analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system to mycotoxins. Revista de Toxicologia, 2016, 33(1).

Goldblatt LA. Aflatoxin: scientific background, control, and implications (2nd ed.). Academic Press. 1969.

Gurtler JB, & Keller SE. Microbiological Safety of Dried Spices. Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, 2019, 10(1), 409–427.

Hammami W, Fiori S, Al Thani R, Ali Kali N, Balmas V, Migheli Q, Jaoua S. Fungal and aflatoxin contamination of marketed spices. Food Control, 2014, 37, 177–181.

Hashem M, & Alamri S. Contamination of common spices in Saudi Arabia markets with potential mycotoxin-producing fungi. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 2010, 17(2), 167–175.

Iha MH & Trucksess MW. Management of Mycotoxins in Spices. Journal of AOAC International, 2019, 102(6), 1732–1739.

Jahan F, Chinni SV, Samuggam S, Reddy LV, Solayappan M, Su Yin L. The Complex Mechanism of the Salmonella typhi Biofilm Formation that Facilitates Pathogenicity: A Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2022, 23(12), 6462.

Kabak B & Dobson ADW. Mycotoxins in spices and herbs–An update. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 2017, 57(1), 18–34.

Klimesová M, Horacek J, Ondrej M, Manga I, Koláchová I, Nejeschlebová L, Ponizil A. Microbial contamination os spices used in Production of Meat Produts. Potravinarstvo Sci J Food Industry, 2015; 9(1):151-59.

Koneman A, Winn W, Allen S, Janda W, Procop G, Schreckenberger P & Woods G. Diagnostico Microbiologico - Texto e Atlas Colorido - Koneman 2018, (7th ed.). Guanabara.

Kortei NK, Djaba BT, Tettey CO, Agyemang AO, Aninagyei E, Essuman EK, Boakye AA, & Annan T. Toxicogenic Fungi, Aflatoxins, and Antimicrobial Activities Associated with Some Spices and Herbs from Three Selected Markets in Ho Municipality, Ghana. International Journal of Food Science, 2022b, 1–15.

Kortei NK, Djaba BT, Tettey CO, Agyemang AO, Aninagyei E, Essuman EK, Boakye AA & Annan T. Toxicogenic Fungi, Aflatoxins, and Antimicrobial Activities Associated with Some Spices and Herbs from Three Selected Markets in Ho Municipality, Ghana. International Journal of Food Science, 2022a, 1–15.

Kulshrestha P, Singh C, Gupta A, Mahajan S, & Sharm R. Mycoflora associated with spices. Microbiol and Applied Sci, 2014, 2(5), 741–746.

Lacaz CS, Porto E, Martins JEC, Heins-Vaccari EM & Melo NT. Tratado De Micologia Medica: Lacaz 2019, (9th ed.). Sarvier.

Liu M, Hu G, Shi Y, Liu H, Li J, Shan X, Hu J, Cui J, & Liu, L. Contamination of Cronobacter spp. in Chinese Retail Spices. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 2018, 15(10), 637–644.

Man A, Mare A, Toma F, Curtic?pean A, & Santacroce L. Health Threats from Contamination of Spices Commercialized in Romania: Risks of Fungal and Bacterial Infections. Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders-Drug Targets, 2016, 16(3), 197–204.

Maquet A, Lievens A, Paracchini V, Kaklamanos G, de La Calle B, Garlant L, Papoci S, et al., European Commission. JCR Technical Reports. Results of an EU wide Coordinated Control Plan to establish the prevalence of fraudulent practices in the marketing of herbs and spices, EUR30877EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2021, ISBN 978-92-79-42979-1, JRC126785.    

Mariscal AG, Siqueira Matias BF, Almeida CB, Santana NCA, Campos SM, Souza R, Vasconcelos KR, Maia MLS, Paula CC, Leite-Júnior DP. Challenges of the global COVID-19 Pandemic and Invasive Fungal Pathogens in SARS-COV-2 Associations: A Dangerous Relationship. Adv Microbiol, 2023, 13, 1-23.

Martins AGLA, Nascimento AR, Filho JEM, Filho NEM, Souza AG, Aragão NE, Silva DSV. Antibacterial activity of essentianl basil oil Against serogroups of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli isolated from lettuce. Ciência Rural, 2010, 40(8):1791-96.

Mathot AG, Postollec F, & Leguerinel I. Bacterial spores in spices and dried herbs: The risks for processed food. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 2021, 20(1), 840–862.

Meireles LM, Araújo ML, Endringer DC, Fronza M, Scherer R. Change in the clinical antifungal sensitivity profile of Aspergillus flavus induced by azole and a benzimidazole fungicide exposure. Diag Microbiol Infect Dis. 2019, 95(2):171-178.

Muccilli S, Caggia C, Randazzo CL, & Restuccia C. Yeast dynamics during the fermentation of brined green olives treated in the field with kaolin and Bordeaux mixture to control the olive fruit fly. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2011, 148(1), 15–22.

Nisiotou AA, Chorianopoulos N, Nychas GJE, & Panagou EZ. Yeast heterogeneity during spontaneous fermentation of black Conservolea olives in different brine solutions. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 2010, 108(2), 396–405.

Nurtjahja K, Zuhra CF, Sembiring H, Brngsu A, Simanullang J, Silalahi JE, Gultom BNL, Sartini S. Fungal contamination spices from Indonesia with emphasis on Aspergillus flavus. Czeh J of Food Sci, 2019 37(5):338-44.

Ogur S. Microbiological Quality and Safety of Some Dried Spices Obtained from Markets, Spice Shops and Homes. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology, 2022, 65.

Oliveira AP, Arruda GL, Pedro FGG, Oliveira JC, Hahn R, Takahara DT. Contaminação fúngica em especiarias desidratadas comercializadas no Mercado do Porto de Cuiabá – MT. Brazilian Journal of Food Research, 2016, 7(1), 149–160.

Oliveira KAM, Oliveira TT, Martins AS, Rodirgues JOM, Freitas RJ, Jesus EA, Oliveira RN. Microbiological Evaluation of Saffron (Curcuma longa) and Black Pepper (Piper nigrun) sold at Free Markets in Barra do Garças-MT and Aragarças-GO. 3rd. SEMICRO - Research and Advances in Food Microbiology. Collection of Works Published in the III National Week of Food Microbiology in Industry. 1st Ed. Jardim do Seridó, RN: Agron Food Academy, 2023.

Ormond de Oliveira J, Oliveira Vilela LT, Oliveira Silva LH, Soares do Nascimento T, Cruz Magalhães FA, Vivi-Oliveira VK. Microbiological quality of dehydrated spices commercialized in street markets of Cuiaba, Mato Grosso. 2017, J Health NPEPS, 2(2), 365–379.  

Palmeira KDF, Silva APPO, Silva JA, Santos CB. Assessment of the potential of natural products of plant origin in the mortality of Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae. Diversitas Journal, 2020, 5(3), 1629–1635.

Pickova D, Ostry V, Malir J, Toman J, Malir F. A Review on Mycotoxins and Microfungi in Spices in the Light of the Last Five Years. Toxins, 2020, 12(12), 789.

Pitt JI, & Hocking AD. (1999). Fungi and food spoilage (2nd ed.). Aspen.

Potortì AG, Tropea A, Lo Turco V, Pellizzeri V, Belfita A, Dugo G, Di Bella G. Mycotoxins in spices and culinary herbs from Italy and Tunisia. Natural Product Research, 2020, 34(1), 167–171. ttps://

Rani S & Saena N. Fungal contamination of some Common Spices. HSOA J Plant Sci: Curr Res. 2022, 5:014.

Ren J, Jin X, Zhang Q, Zheng Y, Lin D, Yu Y. Fungicides induced triazole-resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus associated with mutations of TR46/Y121F/T289A and its appearance in agricultural fields. Journal of Harzadous Materials. 2016; 326:54-60.

Rhodes J, Abdolrasouli A, Dunne K, Sewell TR, Zhang Y, Ballard E, Brackin AP et al., Population genomics confirms acquisition of drug-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus infection by humans from the environment. Nat Microbiol 7, 2022, 663–674.

Riddell RW. Permanent stained mycological preparations obtained by slide culture. Mycologia, 1950, v.42, p.265-270.

Rodrigues P, Venâncio A, Kozakiewicz Z, Lima N. A polyphasic approach to the identification of aflatoxigenic and non-aflatoxigenic strains of Aspergillus Section Flavi isolated from Portuguese almonds. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2009, 129(2), 187–193.

Santoro GF, Cardoso MG, Guimarães LG, Mendonça LZ, Soares MJ. Trypanosoma cruzi: activity of essential oils from Achillea millefolium L., Syzygium aromaticum L. and Ocimum basilicum L. on epimastigotes and trypomastigotes. Exp Parasitol. 2007;116(3):283-90. https://doi:10.1016/j.exppara.2007.01.018.

Santos AL, Santos DO, Freitas CC, Ferreira BLA, Afonso IF, Rodrigues CR, Castro H C. Staphylococcus aureus: Visiting a strain of clinical importance. Jornal Brasileiro de Patologia e Medicina Laboratorial, 2007, 43(6).

Shiva Rani, S. Fungal Contamination of some Common Spices. Comparative Study of M Oleifera and M Ovalifolia Survival Rates in Central Namibia, 2021, 5(1), 1–4.

Silva JF, Melo BA, Leite DT, Cordeiro MFR, Pessoa EB, Barreto CF, Ferreira TC. Microbiological analysis of condiments sold at the central fair in Campina Grande – PB. Agropecuária Científica No Semiárido, 2013, 9(2), 83–87.

Silva LP, Alves AR, Borba CM, Mobin M. Contaminação fúngica em condimentos de feiras livres e supermercados. Rev Inst Adolfo Lutz, 2015, 71(1), 202–206.

Silva N, Junqueira VCA, Silveira NFA, Taniwaki MH, Gomes RAR, Okazaki MM. Manual of methods for microbiological analysis of food and water (5th ed.). 2017, São Paulo, Blucher, 560p.

Simmons BC, Rhode J, Rogers TR, Talento AF, Griffin A, et al., Genomic epidemiology of European Aspergillus fumigatus causing COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis in Europe. Cold Spr. H Lab. BioRxiv 2023.

Syamilah NS, Samsudin NA, Effarizah ME, Mahror N. Mycotoxins and mycotoxigenic fungi in spices and mixed spices: a review. Food Research, 2022, 6(4), 30–46.

Syamilah NS, Samsudin NA, Esah EM, Zakaria L, Selamat J, Rahman MAH, Mahror N. Prevalence, Identification and Mycotoxigenic Potential of Fungi in Common Spices Used in Local Malaysian Cuisines. Foods, 2022, 11(17), 2548.

Teixeira-Loyola ABA, Siqueira FC, Paiva LF, Schreiber AZ. Microbiological analysis of spices sold in Pouso Alegre, Minas Gerais. Revista Eletrônica Acervo Saúde, 2014, 61(1), 515–529.

Uchoa MLP, Gonsalves HRO, Silva KFNL, Souza GC. Microbiological Quality of Condiments Sold at the Free Market in the City of Limoeiro do Norte – CE. In Anais VI JOIN / Brasil – Portugal. 2019.  

Veloso RR, Silva MKG, Guedes FGS, Silva TR, Lima GE & Shinohara NKS. Microbiological aspects of spices sold in the Metropolitan Region of Recife/PE. CIS - Conjecturas Inter Studies, 2022, 22(5), 397–410.

Verweij PE, Lucas JÁ, Arendrup MC, Bowyer P, brinkmann AJF, Denning DW et al., The one health problem of azole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus: current insights and future research agenda. Fungal Biol. Rev. 2020, 34, 202–214.

Vural A, Daya NBA, Mete M. Investigation of the Yeast and Mould Floras in Some Ground Spices. Dicle Medical Journal, 2004, 31(3), 15–19.

Walker JF, Oliveira TDS, Araújo JBD, Silva PPDA, Coelho AFS. Microbiological evaluation of condiments sold in street markets. Hig. Alim, 2014, 185–189.

Wild CP, Gong YY. Mycotoxins and human disease: a largely ignored global health issue. Carcinogenesis, 2010, 31(1), 71–82.

Yehia HM, Al-Masoud AH, Elkhadragy MF, Sonobol H, Al-Dagal MM. Analysis of spore-forming bacterial contaminants in herbs and spices and evaluation of their heat resistance. Food Science and Technology, 2022, 42.

Zi EG. Detection of fungi associated with some spices in original form. Global Journal of Scientific Researches, 2014, 2(3), 83–88.

Download this article as Download

How to cite this article:

Amanda Alfaro Garcia Nascimento, Beatriz de Oliveira Lopez, Bianka Moreira da Silva, Mariana Leticia Munaretto, Roseli de Souza, Cláudia Pedroso de Oliveira Nazário, Viviane Karolina Vivi Oliveira, Cristiane Coimbra de Paula, Margareth Lea da Silva Maia and Diniz Pereira Leite Júnior. 2024. Microbiological quality of dehydrated aromatic condiments and spices used in food: the danger of contamination and level of toxigenic agents.Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci. 13(3): 1-26. doi:
Copyright: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.