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ISOLATION OF MICROORGANISM RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SPOILAGE OF EGUSI SOUP
Egusi soup spoilage can be defined as “any sensory change (tactile, visual, olfactory or flavour)” which the consumer considers to be unacceptable. Spoilage may occur at any stage along Egusi soup chain. Spoilage may arise from insect damage, physical damage, indigenous enzyme activity in the animal or plant tissue or by microbial infections. Enzymes can bring about destruction of polymers in some Egusi soup while chemical reactions such as oxidation and rancidity decompose others but the main single cause of Egusi spoilage is invasion by microorganisms such as moulds, yeast and bacteria. In case of mould spoilage a furry growth covers the Egusi soup and it becomes soft and often smells bad. Bacterial contamination is more dangerous because very often Egusi soup does not look bad even though severely infected, it may appear quite normal. The presence of highly dangerous toxins and bacterial spores is often not detected until after an outbreak of Egusi soup poisoning, laboratory examination uncovers the infecting agent.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Human food is any substance that is consumed to maintain life and growth of the body (Ezeronye, 2007). Bacterial Egusi soup spoilage is any sensory change (tactile, visual, olfactory or flavor) which makes the Egusi soup to be unacceptable for consumption. Spoilage of soup may occur if there is improper handling, cooking, cooling, unhygienic utensils, and unnecessary time lag between preparation and consumption (FDA, 2004, Munide and Kurai, 2005).
In Nigeria, the unhygienic handling of Egusi soup, health status of Egusi soup vendors, poor sanitary conditions of markets, absence of adequate waste disposal facilities, use of contaminated water and kitchen equipment and poor storage affect Egusi soup safety (WHO, 2001, 2003; Chosh et al., 2007, Kamil, 2005). In Nigeria, selling of street Egusi soups in markets is common but most consumers and vendors have little or no knowledge about Egusi soup safety. Consumption of street Egusi soup has grown over the years due to rapid population growth, unemployment, poverty and availability of relatively low cost Egusi soups. (Martins, 2006, Amoah, 1992, Chakravarty and Canet, 2002).
Symptoms of Egusi spoilt soup borne illnesses include: diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramp and nausea (Nweze, 2010); most of which are caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinum, Campylobacter, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Bacillus cereus and Entropathogenic Escherichia coli. Egusi soup
safety depends on conditions necessary during the production, processing, storage, and preparation of Egusi soup to ensure that it is safe, sound, wholesome, and fit for human
consumption (FAO/WHO, 1990).
This work investigated selected Egusi soups by vendors in Eke-Awka market, Awka, Anambra state for bacterial contamination. Isolated and identified bacterial species associated with Egusi soup contamination and their microbial loads were determined. The public health implications of consumption of such Egusi soups were established.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The type of test medium and microorganism. Besides, some of these claims still need to be authenticated through scientific testing. Egusi soup preparations are known to be spoiled by microbial contaminants that cause them to ferment and sour; some of these contaminants are potent pathogens causing Egusi soup poisoning or Egusi soup infection when they multiply to high doses. Thus many local Egusi soups need preservation without synthetic preservatives and need to be free from pathogens. Thus, this study was undertaken to evaluate the antimicrobial and, by implication, the potential preservative effects of these natural spices used in making soup on some Egusi spoilage isolates.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1. The aim of this research is to determine the antimicrobial effect of three spices used in preparing pepper-soup on some Egusi soup contaminating organisms and to determine the quantity of the spices needed to inhibit the growth of the organisms.
2. To isolate and characterize microorganisms associated with spoilage of Egusi soup.
3. To identify and isolate the presence of bacillus pumilus, b. licheniformis, b. subtilis, and b. megaterium in spoilage egusi soup.
4. To determine the minimal concentrations of the spices needed to inhibit the
growth of the organisms.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. Can this study determine the antimicrobial effect of three spices used in preparing pepper-soup on some Egusi soup contaminating organisms and to determine the quantity of the spices needed to inhibit the growth of the organisms?
2. To isolate and characterize microorganisms associated with spoilage of Egusi soup?
3.Is the presence of bacillus pumilus, b. licheniformis, b. subtilis, and b. megaterium found in spoilage egusi soup?
4. Can the minimal concentrations of the spices needed to inhibit the
growth of the organisms be determined?
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is on the examination of bacterial found in spoilt Egusi soup.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The only limitation faced by the researcher in the course of carrying out this study was the delay in getting data from the various respondents. Most respondents were reluctant in filling questionnaires administered to them due to their busy schedules and nature of their work. The researcher found it difficult to collect responses from the various respondents, and this almost hampered the success of this study.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Egusi : Egusi (also known by variations including agusi, agushi) is the name for the fat– and protein-rich seeds of certain cucurbitaceous plants (squash, melon, gourd), which after being dried and ground are used as a major ingredient in West African cuisine.
Egusi Soup spoilage is a metabolic process that causes egusi soups to be undesirable or unacceptable for human consumption due to changes in sensory characteristics.
Microbes: Microbes are single-cell organisms so tiny that millions can fit into the eye of a needle. They are the oldest form of life on earth. Microbe fossils date back more than 3.5 billion years to a time when the Earth was covered with oceans that regularly reached the boiling point, hundreds of millions of years before dinosaurs roamed the earth. Microbe is a microscopic organism, which may be single-celled or multicellular.
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