Microbial profile and critical control points during processing of ‘robo’ snack from melon seed (Citrullus lunatus thumb) in Abeokuta, Nigeria
AbstractA study was carried out to determine the level of microbial contamination and establish the critical control points associated with the processing of a locally produced ‘Robo’ snack from melon seeds in
the Abeokuta Metropolis. Samples were collected at different points of processing from randomly selected local producers and subjected to microbiological hazard analysis. The results were used to evaluate the relevant critical control points especially in relation to raw materials and human contaminations, process requirements and contacting of ingredients with equipment. The observed contaminants common to all samples and irrespective of the producers were the Staphylococcus
aureus, Salmonella spp., Bacillus spp. and Aspergillus fumigatus. The major operations directly implicated in addition to the quality of the various raw ingredients used were the roasting using earthen
wares, grinding in local mill, hand mixing of ingredients, kneading and moulding manually, deep fat frying, surface fat draining, open-air cooling, and holding/packaging in polyethylene films during sales
and distribution. The product was, however, classified under category III with respect to risk and the significance of monitoring and evaluation of quality using the hazard analysis critical control point
(HACCP) principles and adoption by the local producers of ‘robo’ are highlighted and discussed in relation to existing practices and major constrains.