Tomato (solanumlycopersicum), is one of the most important vegetable crop of the solanaceae family, grown all over the world for food and other economic purposes. The microbial spoilage of canned tomato of varying product brands was investigated in this study. It was observed that the total aerobic and anaerobic counts were less than 103 cells which were within acceptable limit. Two of the canned product had no microbial count, while the others had counts varying from 2 x 101 to 5 x 101 for aerobic count of freshly opened tomato, and 1 x 101 to 2 x 101 for anaerobic count. However, aerobic count of spoilt canned tomato product ranged from 4.2 x 104 to 9.1 x 104 across all six products investigated. Anaerobic count of spoilt canned tomato ranged from 2.5 x 104 to 6.8 x 104. Isolated organisms obtained from spoilt canned tomato samples revealed the presence of Bacillus ploymyxa, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus lactis, Pseudomonas, sp., Clostridium sporogenes,Bacillus coagulans,Saccharomyces sp., Candida sp., Mucorsp., Aspergillus niger, and Penicilliumsp. These organisms were implicated in the spoilage of canned tomato products sold in Lokoja City. When these products are consumed immediately after opening, they are safe because the microbial load on fresh product is within acceptable regulatory standard

1.0         INTRODUCTION:
Canned tomatoes are tomatoes usually peeled that are sealed into a canned after having been processed by heat. This product are considered important world wide (Robinso, et al, 1994). In Nigeria tomato paste is the most important  tomato  product  because of its wide spread use for preparation of various food/menus. It contain on the average about 6.4% total solids, of which 3.5% is invert sugar, 0.5% citric acid,0.6% ash, 0.9% protein, 0.53% crude fibre and about 0.05% fat. When spoil as a result of the life processes of bacteria, yeast and molds, the sugars are  rapidly used up being changes into acetic  acid, lactic acid, alcohol and carbon dioxide, the amount of these substances depending  on the types of organism which are most  active in the particular sample in question.
Until recent  years, nearly all the tomato paste consumed in Nigeria was important from European countries with Italy being the leading country. However, today, limited brands are produced locally. Although both the imported and the local brands are available on the market, consumers prefer the former  in spite of its relatively  higher cost.
In general, adequate heat processing is given to tomato paste to achieve commercial  sterility (speck, 1984), but subsequent abusive post-process handling/storage may lead to undesirable microbiological changes  (Anon, 1980). It is public knowledge  that can of tomato paste often show external evidence of spoilage under tropical retail conditions. In addition, and interestingly, these d effective products are sold (especially to the less informed) at the same cost as the normal (non-defective- product.
The structural   systematic approach for the control  of food safety “Hazard Analytsis and critical control point-HACCP” identifies, evaluated and controls hazards that are significant for food safety. The control parameters include various factors  such as  time of harvesting, temperature and moisture during storage, selection of agricultural products prior  to processing, decontamination conditions, addition of chemicals at final product storage ((Sango, 1995).

1.1     Tomato:
Tomato (Lycopersicumesculentum) belongs to the family Solanaceae and subilasspolypetalae of the dicotyledenous group of plants. Tomato is a slight modification of tomato the name used by the Indians of Mexico, who have grown the plant for food since prehistoric times. Other names reported by early European explorers were tomato, tumatle and tomatas, probably variants of Indian words (Wener, 2004).

1.2     Origin:
The precise origin of tomato remains a mystery but there is reason to believe that the original tomato came from Peru called tomato, it was taken to Mexico by migrating Peruvians. It found its way to Italy through the explorations of Christopher Columbus. Tomatoes were taken back to Europe along with silver and gold and they were grown on the continent as a pretty curiosity (Fallagatter, 1999). Though, tomato has become one of the most popular and widely grown vegetables in the world (Chung, 1998), until the 19th century, it was grown chiefly as an ornamental plant for its colourful fruit (Villareal, 1980). This is because it was regarded with suspicion due to the reputation of Solanum-like fruits being poisonous (Philips and Rix, 1993)

Statement of problem
Canning destroys the microbial contaminants, however, products undergo microbial spoilage and could cause food The common garden tomato (Lycopersiconesculentum) is borne illness as a result of under processing, inadequate botanically classified as a fruit, although, some persons think of cooling contamination of the can resulting from leakage and  it as a vegetable [1]. The United States Department of preprocess spoilage [6]. Canned foods have been reported to  Agriculture [2] for example, defined it as a vegetable. Tomato be contaminated mainly by spore forming bacteria of the  is widely used as condiment or as food dietary supplement in genera Bacillus, Clostridium and Desulfotomaculum [7]. If the various part of the world and also valuable in the food industry contaminant is a pathogen and the food is capable of [3].  supporting its growth, a health hazard exists [8]. Bacillus Canene-Adams et al. [4] reported that tomatoes are the coagulans and Bacillus stearothermophilus have been implicated in fourth most commonly consumed fresh vegetable and the most canned tomato juice and milk causing flat sour spoilage with frequently consumed canned vegetable in the Nigeria diet acid but no gas production from carbohydrate [9, 10.

1.5     Aims and objectives:
          -        To carry out a microbiological analysis of expired canned tomato paste.
Specific objectives:
-        To determine microbial load of expired canned tomato paste.
          -        To characterize and identify bacteria and fungi isolate in this sample

          -        To determine the frequency of occurrence of bacteria and fungi species in this sample.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 38 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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