Microbial Quality and Proximate Composition of Kunu Drinks Produced and Sold in Ikot Ekpene Metropolis, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
Kunu is a non-alcoholic Nigerian beverage produced locally from cereals and has been widely accepted as a nutritional drink due to its cost hence, the need for evaluation of its nutritional and safety status. In this study, proximate composition and microbial quality of Kunu drinks sold in Ikot Ekpene metropolis were evaluated. The results show that Kunu consists of 68.5% moisture, 9.33% crude protein, 5.5% crude fat, 3.14% ash and 49.2% carbohydrate while the calorie value was 283.67kcal. The Colony counts from theKunu samples ranged from 0.5×105to 3.2 ×105 for total coliform bacteria, 2.5×105 to 4.2×105 for total heterotrophic bacteria and 5.2×105 to 8.0×105 for total heterotrophic fungi for the three samples analyzed. Bacterial isolates identification revealed the presence of Bacillus sp, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Streptococcus sp, while the fungal isolates include; Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium sp, Fusarium sp and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The data revealed that all the Kunu drinks sold within the study area were contaminated and also contained different pathogenic microorganisms which can serve as sources of infections to human. Therefore, proper hygienic and sanitary measures need to be enforced during processing and packaging of this local beverage drink.