Coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei)—a vector for toxigenic molds and ochratoxin A contamination in coffee beans.Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2010 Oct; 7(10):1279-84.FP
Coffee berry borer (CBB, Hypothenemus hampei Ferrari) is a common insect pest in coffee plantations and is a suspected vector of various mycotoxin-producing molds. In the present study, field trials were undertaken consecutively for 3 years to evaluate the impact of CBB on the microbial contamination of Arabica and Robusta coffee bean varieties, with emphasis laid toward ochratoxin A (OTA)-producing fungi. Results revealed higher microbial contamination in CBB-infested beans in both the varieties of coffee with the presence of toxigenic molds (such as Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus ochraceus). The "timely harvested" coffee, which was infested with CBB, was found to possess comparatively lesser OTA levels than those berries left in soil or on coffee plants. Studies carried out on coffee beans collected from nine curing factories indicated the presence of OTA in almost all the CBB-infested coffee beans, irrespective of the variety. Results of the present study provide sufficient baseline information and evidence to understand and correlate the role of CBB with various OTA-producing molds in coffee beans. Understanding the role of CBB might be useful and applicable in the coffee-growing regions of the world, especially in plantations for production of quality coffee.