MICROBIAL EVALUATION OF GARRI SOLD WITHIN AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY MAIN CAMPUS, SAMARU - ZARIA, KADUNA STATE
Garri is a commonly consumed cassava product in Nigeria. Poorly processed/stored garri could pose serious health risk to consumers. This study evaluated the microbial loads of garri sold within Ahmadu Bello University main campus, Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State. Thirty garri samples were randomly collected from three major markets within Ahmadu Bello University, main campus, Samaru and subjected to proximate, functional and microbiological analyses using standard techniques. The ranges for proximate compositions were 2.46 – 2.88 % (moisture), 1.35 – 1.62 % (ash), 6.85 – 8.20 % (lipid), 2.47 – 3.45% (proteins), 1.32 – 1.54 % (fibre) and 84.14 – 86.36 % (carbohydrate). Mean swelling and water absorption capacities were within the ranges of 2.98 – 3.10 % and 4.66 – 5.03 % respectively. A range of 4.60 – 5.00 was observed for pH. There were no significant differences at p>0.05 among the proximate, functional and pH values except for the mean total aerobic plate counts (9.5 × 103 CFU/g – 6.7 × 104 CFU/g) and total fungal counts (1.0 × 103 CFU/g – 2.0 × 103 CFU/g) that were significantly different. The bacterial isolates were Micrococcus sp., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella sp., Lactobacillus sp., Enterobacter sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus sp. Pseudomonas sp., Streptococcus sp., Shigella sp. and Bacillus sp. while the fungal isolates were Rhizomucor sp., Aspergillus sp., Trichophyton sp., Geotrichum sp., Mudurella sp. and Candida sp. Some of the isolates are of public health concerns and thus, there is need for garri processors/retailers to maintain stricter environmental and personal hygiene to reduce microbial contaminations.