The purpose of this work was to analyze the fungal contamination in smoked and unsmoked paprika processed from different cultivars of pepper and to investigate the ability of these and other mycotoxigenic molds to grow and synthesize mycotoxins in smoked paprika. Eighteen mycotoxins were evaluated using micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatography. No relevant differences were found in fungal contamination between smoked and unsmoked paprika. The number of yeasts obtained was low, ranging from 0.4 to 3.29 log CFU g−1; most of the yeast strains were identified as Cryptococcus spp. followed by Candida spp. All mold counts were <4 log CFU g−1. Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Fusarium were the predominant hyphomycete genera. Six mycotoxins were identified in the extracts of several strains isolated from paprika and incubated on malt extract agar. Penicillium expansum followed by Penicillium citrinum and Penicillium raistrickii were the dominant mycotoxigenic fungi isolated. Most of the mycotoxin-producing fungi produced detectable amounts of mycotoxins when grown on paprika agar.

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