Ajay K Gautam, Shubhi Avasthi, Anu Sharma and Rekha Bhadauria
The present study explores the association of Aspergillus niger with stored raw and powdered ingredients of Triphala Churn, which is a 1:1:1 proportional combination of Emblica officinalis Gaertn. (Amla), Terminalia bellerica (Gaertn.) Roxb. (Baheda), and Terminalia chebula Retz. (Harada) respectively. Total 106 stored fruits and 68 powdered samples of E. officinalis, T. bellerica and T. chebula, have been analysed for their fungal association, if any. Results revealed that among all the fungal isolates, A. niger was found to be a frequently occurring species as well as a major contaminant. Therefore, present investigation was carried out to study the efficacy of aqueous extracts of fruits (fresh & dry) and a powdered ingredient of Triphala churn against the growth of A. niger. In addition, an effort has been made to evaluate the antifungal potential of aqueous extracts of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merril & Perry (Clove), Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume (Cinnamon), and Zingiber officinale Roscoe (Ginger) as herbal fungitoxiants, to control the growth of A. niger. During the investigation of samples for fungal contamination, highest percent frequency (93.10%) of A. niger was recorded. It was observed that none of the aqueous extracts of fruits and powdered ingredient of Triphala churn was found effective against the growth of A. niger. However, the aqueous extract of Clove was found strongly effective to inhibit the growth of A. niger completely at 20% concentration (v/v). Among the other extracts Cinnamon showed 24.73% inhibition, whereas Ginger extracts was observed to be ineffective against A. niger. Hence, the aqueous extract of Clove can be utilized as herbal fungitoxicant to control the growth of A. niger.