Bacteriological Contamination of Soya Bean Flour Sold in Makurdi Metropolis, Benue State Nigeria.
Soya bean (Glycine max) is a leguminous crop that is used as a staple food worldwide. The raw harvest is processed into various food forms like soya bean flour and processing methods increase the chances of bacterial contamination. This research work assessed the bacteria contamination of soya bean flour sold in and around Makurdi metropolis to determine their fitness for consumption. This assessment included different parameters like moisture content, pH, bacterial distribution and counts. One hundred and twenty samples of soya bean flour from different market locations within Makurdi metropolis were sampled using bacterial cultural methods for isolation and identification. A 100% bacterial contamination was recorded from all samples. Isolates included: Escherichia coli 52(32.7%), Staplylococcus aureus 38(23.9%), Proteus spp. 21(13.2%), Bacillus spp. 16(10.1%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa 12(7.5%), Klebsiella spp. 10(6.3%), Yersinia enterocolitica 7(4.4%) and Salmonella paratyphi 3(1.7%). From the market locations, samples from Wadata market showed the highest level of contamination followed by Wurukun market, Modern market and Northbank market. High moisture content and unhygienic practices by producers and food vendors may be responsible for the high rate of contamination. This poses a public health risk in the area under study as the number of consumers of this food type expands daily, due to increased awareness of the nutritive value of the food.
Keywords: Soya bean flour, bacterial contamination.