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Safety and sensory quality of <i>wagashie</i>, a West African cottage cheese

A.B. Arthur
M. Owusu
P.T. Akonor
E.J.S. Blessie
A. Atter
V. Appiah
W.K. Amoa-Awua


Wagashie, a West African traditional cottage cheese is a dairy product commonly consumed in Ghana due to its nutritional quality. Nonetheless, it can serve as a medium for the growth of pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms as producers and retailers do not employ adequate food hygiene measures in its handling. Additionally, despite its widespread consumption, there is little or no information about the sensory properties of traditional wagashie. This study was carried out to ascertain the safety of market wagashie and to evaluate the sensory quality using quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA). The safety of market fresh and fried wagashie was determined by testing for various indicator and pathogenic microorganisms and the sensory profile was described by a trained 13-member panel who evaluated traditional wagashie for desirable and undesirable attributes. The results of the microbiological safety assessment indicated the absence of Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus in all samples whiles Bacillus cereus was detected in low counts in half of the samples assessed. The enteric microorganisms E. coli, Coliforms and Enterobacteriaceae had fairly high counts. QDA analysis was used to develop a lexicon for fresh and fried wagashie which included whitish colour, yoghurt aroma, cheesy taste, brown colour and fried egg taste etc. respectively.

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eISSN: 0855-0042