Microbiological Quality and Safety of pre-cut fruit retailed in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
The microbiological quality of pre-cut fruits retailed in three local markets in Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria was assessed. Pre-cut fruit samples comprising watermelon, pineapple and pawpaw were obtained from vendors at different retail outlets in the markets and the physicochemical and microbiological characteristics were examined. Mean total aerobic plate count ranged from 1.20 x 104 to 2.0 x 104 cfu/g while fungal count ranged from 0.5 x 102 to1.6 x 102 cfu/g. Eight bacterial and six fungal species were isolated: Proteus vulgaris, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Campylobacter jejuni, Klebsiella aerogenes, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Mucor mucedo, Rhizopus stolonifer, Aspergillus fumigatus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The physicochemical parameters studies varies as follows: pH ranged from 3.5 to 4.1, moisture content 60.20 to 90.73%, titratable acidity 0.42 to 0.80 g/100 mL, ash 0.50 to 1.11% and total sugar 2.01 to 2.53 g/100 mL. The findings from this study showed that the fruits contained microorganisms that are potentially pathogenic. Under favourable conditions, they may multiply and thus render the fruits unsafe for consumption as they could become means of food poisoning.
Keywords: Food poisoning, Food vendors, pre-cut fruit, food contamination
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