Omorodion Nnenna JP and Ogonna Amara J
Food ingredient made from various plant are very important for every average Nigerian home. The study investigated the sanitary quality of Egusi, Achi, Offor, Cameroon pepper and red pepper sold in markets. The analysis was done using standard microbiological methods for microbial isolation and characterization. The total heterotrophic bacteria bacterial count done on samples studied revealed counts ranging from 4.1x105 to 6.4x106, 1.03x105 to 1.02x107, 5.4x105 to 7.2x106, 3.2x104 to6.4x106, and 4.3x104 to 5.0x106 cfu/g for Achi, Egusi, Offor, grinded pepper and Cameroon pepper respectively. Total coliform count ranging from 1.0x14x103 to 8.2x104 in all the samples studied, Total Staphylococcus count ranged from 3.35x103 to 6.4x105 cfu/g. Fungal counts ranged from 3.6x103 to 6.8x104 cfu/g. Six bacterial genera were isolated in this study including Bacillus sp. (25.5%), Micrococcus sp. (23.5%), Staphylococcus sp. (23.5%), Proteus sp. (13.8%), Enterobacter sp. (11.8%) and Enterococcus sp. (1.9%) while the fungal species isolated includes Saccharomyces sp., Aspergillus niger, Candida sp., Penicillium sp and Rhizopus sp. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that all Gram Positive Isolates (Bacillus, Staphylococcus and Micrococcus sp were resistant to Ceftazidime, Erythromycin, Augmentin and Cloxacillin while the Grams negative (Proteus, Enterococcus and Enterobacter) showed resistance against Cefixime and cefuroxime. Proper handling and storage of food ingredient is recommended.
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