FUNGI AND MYCOTOXINS IN FRESH BEE POLLEN
Keywords:bee pollen, contamination, fungi, mycotoxins
The aim of the present study was to determine the concentration of microscopic fungi and selected mycotoxins in fresh bee pollen, stored for different periods. In the study, 12 pollen samples collected from the same apiary families were investigated. The total count of microorganisms in the pollen during the study period varied from 2.9×103 to 4.4×103 cfu g-1. The moisture content of fresh pollen varied between 14.2 and 22.7%. During studies, the most prevalent fungal genera of Fusarium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Mucor and yeast were found in fresh bee pollen. The amounts of microscopic fungi increased from 2.9×103 to 4.4×103 cfu g-1 as the pollen storage time increased. The significantly higest amounts of fungal colonies was determined after 3 days storage of undried pollen. The most significant Fusarium spp. increase (14.9%) was determined after 2 days of storage. The highest levels of mycotoxins ZEN and DON were determined after 3 days of pollen storage. Fresh bee pollen chould be dried as quickly as possible, to reduce the levels of microbial contamination.