Quality assessment of sachet and bottled water sold in Gboko, Benue state, Nigeria.
The quality of selected sachet and bottled water produced and sold within Gboko town, Benue State was investigated to determine their Shelf life. Eight brands of sachet water and four brands of bottled water samples were collected from different manufacturers within 24 hours and stored at ambient temperature. Sub - samples were drawn f rom the stock samples at intervals of three weeks up to a period of 15 weeks and subjected to physical, chemical and microbial examination. Results for physical and chemical analysis revealed that all the samples examined were wholesome by the 12 th week of study except, samples K4and B4 (Wishden sachet and bottled water) which had iron contents of 0.50 mg/L and 0.53 mg/L respectively which were above WHO Standard value of 0.30 mg/L. Total and Escherichia coliforms appeared in all sachet water samples and three bottled water samples analyzed within the first 6 weeks but were no longer detected in any of the samples from the 12 th week to the end of the investigation period. The highest total coliform of 21 MPN/100mL and Escherichia coli of17 cfu/100mL were recorded on the first day of production of sachet water. It was concluded that some sachet water products consumed in Gboko were not safe for drinking within the first 12 weeks of production. It was recommended that sachet and bottled water produced and c onsumed in Gboko can be used from the 3 and 12 weeks after production respectively up to 15 weeks. However, th ere is need to investigate the shelf life beyond 15 weeks to determine the actual s helf life which may be more than 15 weeks.
Keywords: Physico - chemical Quality, Coliforms, Gboko, Sachet and Bottled Water, Shelf life