Effect of different storage temperatures on bacterial spoilage of Oreochromis niloticus

  • IR Keke Fisheries and Hydrobiology Research Unit, Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Imo State University, PMB 2000 Owerri, Nigeria
  • C Egenonu Departments of Microbiology, Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria
  • A Anene Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Abia State University, Umuahia Campus. Nigeria


This study determined the bacterial organisms associated with Oreochromis niloticus spoilage at two storage temperatures (6 and 20°C) and also assessed the ability of the individual bacterial isolates to cause spoilage at the two storage temperatures. Bacteriological analysis revealed the association of five bacteria genera: Pseudomonas, Serratia, Streptococcus, Bacillus and Escherichia with Oreochromis spoilage at low temperatures. The shelf life of O. niloticus was about 9 days at 6°C with a bacterial load of 6.8x105 cfu/ml. Although a total bacterial count of 2.3x103 cfu/ml was obtained on fish samples at storage temperatures of 20°C on the 9th day of storage, there was no spoilage of fish samples at that temperature. Experiments on the spoilage of fresh sterile fish flesh indicated that Pseudomonas, Serratia and Bacillus were the agents of spoilage at 6°C and that temperatures as low as 20°C are needed to hinders bacterial proliferation and hence prevent bacterial spoilage of the fish.

Keywords: fish, bacterial spoilage, Oreochromis niloticus, storage temperature

Animal Production Research Advances Vol. 1(1) 2005: 20-23

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eISSN: 0794-4721