Microbiological assessment and proximate composition of sorrel (zobo) drinks sold in Ikot Ekpene Metropolis, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
This research was conducted to evaluate the proximate composition and microbiological quality of zobo drinks produced and sold locally. Three zobo drink samples were randomly purchased from three markets in Ikot Ekpene metropolis, which include Ator market, White market and Edet Mbat market. The nutritional quality of the zobo drink samples showed high moisture content (85.16%), ash (0.65%), crude fat (0.87%), protein (2.12%) and carbohydrate (11.17%). Their microbiological quality was assessed according to standard methods. Bacteria isolated from the zobo drink samples include Staphylococcus aureus, Lactobacillus sp, Pseudomonas sp, Bacillus sp and Escherichia coli while the fungal isolates include; Penicillium sp, Aspergillus sp and Saccharomyces sp. The associated bacteria were isolated and identified by following standard microbiology methods; morphology, gram staining, biochemical test. The samples were found to be high in microbial counts of Escherichia coli, Bacillus sp and Staphylococcus aureus as shown in their percentage occurrence. The microbial load ranged from 2.3×105 to 8.5×105 for bacteria and 5.2×105 to 7.5×105 for fungi. The present findings revealed the nutritive and microbiological quality of zobo drinks retailed and sold in these markets. There is a high potential for these drinks to serve as vehicles for the transmission of food borne illness. Hence, need to employ good manufacturing processes in the production and packaging of these drinks.
Keywords: Bacteria, Fungi, Zobo, Microbial load, proximate