Biodeterioration of palm oils from dura and tenera varieties of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) jacquin by fungi. – U. N. Ekwenye and G. S. C. Okpokwasili
Palm oils extracted from dura and tenera varieties of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) were examined for their stability to fungal deterioration. Twenty six fungal species were isolated from the oil samples. The isolates were members of the following genera: Penicillium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Saccharomyces, Mucor, Geotrichum and Candida. Amongst the fungi, Aspergillus, Saccharomyces, and Candida species predominated in the dura (Ojukwu) oil while Aspergillus and Saccharomyces predominated in the tenera (Osukwu) oil. Evaluation of the ability of the contaminants to cause deterioration carried out by screen tests showed that all the fungal isolates from tenera oil were capable of growing on and utilizing the oil as sole carbon and energy source while all the fungal isolates from dura oil with the exception of Mucor and Geotrichum species grew on and utilized the oil. Fungal genera may differ depending on the fatty acid involved.