1 Institute of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences,Lahore, Pakistan. 2 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
In Pakistan, wheat flour is mostly utilized for making flat breads locally calledchapattis. Other uses of wheat flour are in bakery products manufacturing. It is animportant constituent of daily diet of people. Shelf life of wheat flour is one of themost important factors for its quality determination. Wheat flour is often taintedwith pathogenic fungal species and their toxic secondary metabolites calledMycotoxins. The present study was designed to make a comparative analysis ofMicrobiological quality (fungal load and total coliform count) and detection ofaflatoxins in raw and branded whole wheat flour samples of Lahore Metropolitancity. Total 100 samples were collected for determination of fungal load, coliformand aflatoxins. The Standardized methods were applied to count the colonyforming units of fungal species and total coliform bacteria respectively. The resultsindicated both branded and raw whole wheat flour groups were of good quality forhuman consumption. However, the microbiological quality of branded whole flourwas better than raw whole wheat flour. There was a significant difference (P<0.05)in fungal load of raw and branded whole wheat flour. Similarly, coliform bacteriawere only cultured form the samples of raw flour. In the last stage of study,aflatoxins level was analysed by using a commercially available kit. All the samplesof both raw and branded whole wheat flours were negative for aflatoxinsdetection. The overall quality of raw and branded whole wheat flours in Lahore cityis satisfactory for consumers.
Keywords: Wheat flour, fungal load, coliform count, Aflatoxins