Microbiological evaluation of street vended Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane) sold within Lafia Metropolis, Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Gladys Abel Angbalaga; Nfongeh Joseph Fuh; Peter Uteh Upla; Martins Agianpuye Akeh; Akwashiki Ombugadu; Anzene Asso Ablaku; Abel Anzaku Abbas; Naomi Ibe Igoche.

Transactions on Science and Technology, 10(1), 21 - 27.

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Saccharum officinarum (Sugarcane) is primarily cultivated for its juice from which sugar is processed. This study aimed to evaluate the microbiological state of street vended sugarcane sold within Lafia Metropolis by determining microbial count, coliform count, and identifying the bacterial and fungal pathogens. A total of forty (40) samples, ten (10) from each location were collected from Mararaba Akunza, Lafia Main Town, Bukan Sidi and Ombi 1. All samples were analyzed for bacterial, coliform and fungal using pour plate method and were cultured on Nutrient Agar, MacConkey Agar and Potatoes Dextrose Agar, respectively. The mean total microbial count ranged from 2.51×105±0.31 cfu/g to 7.63×105±0.75 cfu/g, 2.24×103±0.36 cfu/g to 7.38×103±0.90 cfu/g and 2.00 ×103±0.24 cfu/g to 6.60×103±0.45 cfu/g for total heterotrophic bacterial, total coliform and total heterotrophic fungal count respectively. Bacterial species isolated include; E. coli (55.00%), S. aureus (37.50%), Shigella spp (35.00%), Samonella spp (32.5%), Micrococcus spp (32.50%), Bacillus spp (30.00%), E. faecalis (27.50%), S. epidermidis (27.50%), Streptococcus spp (17.5%) and Pseudomonas spp (5.00%) while the fungal species include A. flavus (10.00%), A. niger (10.00%), A. fumigatus (10.00%), Rhizopus spp (5.00%), Penicillium spp (5.00%), A. clavatus (2.50%) and Mucor spp (2.50%), respectively. There was a significant difference (P<0.001) observed in distribution of bacterial isolated from different locations. It is recommended that Nigerian government and food regulatory agencies should regularly analyzed hawked sugarcane for the possibility of pathogenic agents.

KEYWORDS: Sugarcane; Microbiological; Contamination; Street Vended; Lafia Metropolis.

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