International Journal of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology Research
ISSN: 2053-1818
Vol. 1(3), pp. 16-19, October 2013

Effect of chemical treatments on the microbial load of fruits and vegetables

Nwachukwu E.* and Chukwu C. M.

Department of Microbiology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

Received 02 August, 2013; Received in revised form 28 August, 2013; Accepted 13 September, 2013.


Key words:
Fruit, Vegetable, Microorganism, Chemical treatment.

Effect of chemical treatments on the microbial load of fruits and vegetables was investigated. Fruits and vegetables purchased from street vendors were analyzed to determine their microbial load. Bacteria load ranged from 1.3×104‒1.8×106 cfu/g while fungi load ranged from 3.0×104‒5.2×104 cfu/g. Carrots had the highest bacterial and fungal load. Bacteria isolated included Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Escherichia, Salmonella and Klebsiella while fungi were Aspergillus, Rhizopus and Saccharomyces with various percentage of occurrences. Staphylococcus was the most frequently isolated bacteria genera, varying between 60 and 100% in all cases. Treatment of fruits and vegetables with vinegar was found to significantly reduce their respective microbial load when compared with other solvent. This study revealed that fruits and vegetables were contaminated with different bacteria and fungi genera and the microbial load can be reduced when properly washed especially with vinegar.

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