Fungal and Fumonisins Contamination in Argentine Maize (Zea mays L.) Silo Bags
Fumonisins in maize (Zea mays L.) grain silo bags in the conditions of three Argentine provinces were analyzed to determine how this kind of storage affects contamination and if differential storage durations or times of the year of silo bag closing and opening are factors that could modify it. Moisture content, water activity (aw), molds and yeasts present, and fumonisins were analyzed in 163 maize silo bags, at the moment of closing and later at opening. Storage durations ranged from 120 to 226 days. The analysis was centered on fumonisins since most samples were only contaminated with these toxins. Fumonisins, moisture content, and aw increased significantly, whereas mold propagules/g and yeasts CFU/g did not present significant differences between silo opening and closing. The date on which silo bags were closed and later opened, however, did affect the level of fumonisin contamination.