Microbial quality and sugar content of fruit juices and fruit drinks sold on the markets of the Greater Accra Region

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Fruit juice, being rich in nutrient, favours the growth of micro-organism. Several factors affect the growth of these microorganisms. In view of the poor storage practices and marketing condition in Ghana, it will be of great concern to know the microbial safety of the fruit juice and the juice drinks sold in the various market. This work therefore looked at the microbial safety and the sugar content of fruit juice and fruit drinks in the Greater Accra Region after being granted market authorization by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA). Serial dilution from 10⁰ to 10⁻³ were prepared from sample of ten brands of fruit drinks/fruit juice and inoculated on Plate Count Agar (PCA) (Oxoid Ltd, Basingstoke hants, England) at 44⁰c for APC. The procedure was repeated for Coliforms, Staphylococcus aureus and Yeast and Moulds using Violet Neutral Red Bile Lactose (VRBL), Baird Parker Agar with Rabbit Plasma and Trypsin inhibitor and Dichloran-rose bengal chloramphenicol (DRBC) respectively. The number of microorganisms present in the test samples were calculated using the weighted mean from the dilution and the result expressed as colony forming unit per milliliter (cfu/ml). Results indicate that 10% of samples analyzed from the formal market had microbial growth, with an APC count of 64.5cfu/ml. Microbial growth was observed in 50% of the samples from the informal sector. APC range from 60.45-139.55cfu/ml, Yeast and Moulds Count ranged from 6.36-10.91cfu/ml and Coliforms Count was from 1.82-7.20cfu/ml. Also 88% of the samples failed to meet the acceptable level of sugar specified in the Ghana standard for fruit juice and fruit drinks.The microbial quality of fruit juice and fruit drinks on the market were generaly good. Products from formal markets had better microbial quality than those from the informal markets.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Science, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Food Quality Management,