Properties and Microbial Load Diversity of Whole and Broken (nkuwa) Tomatoes (Lycopersicum esculentum) Sold at Different Market Locations in Umuahia Metropolis
Properties and microbial load of broken and whole tomatoes in Umuahia metropolis
Keywords:Whole tomatoes, nkuwa tomatoes, physicochemical, phytochemical, Microbial loads
Tomato transportation in Nigeria is without mindful of their post harvest spoilage that results in nutritional losses, microbial contamination and their health implications. Broken (nkuwa) tomatoes, a major cause of food-borne illnesses, were often patronized by the local food vendors and low income earners because they are cheaper. Physicochemical, phytochemical properties and microbial loads of whole and nkuwa tomatoes sold at different market locations within Umuahia metropolis were analysed with standard analytical methods. Three samples of whole and nkuwa tomatoes from each market collected at two weeks intervals were used. Results of the whole and nkuwa tomato samples increased respectively in colour (178.68-203.77 and 174.95-202.83), pH (4.18-4.45 and 4.57-4.86), tannin (0.78-0.94 and 1.09-1.15 mg/100g), bacteria (8.02-10.53 and 11.02-18.04 cfu/mlx105) and fungal (10.03-19.54 and 19.54-28.34 cfu/mlx105) loads. Their TTA (5.44-5.39 and 5.54-5.51) flavonoid (36.77-33.61 and 33.68-33.46 mg/100g), phenol (1.39-1.38 and 1.44-1.43 mg/100g), lycopene (14.37-14.33 and 13.96-13.85 mg/100g) and oxalate (1.53-1.51 and 1.45-1.43 mg/100g) decreased. Properties and microbial loads were actually affected by distance from the source of bulk purchase.
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