S Chakraborty, A Pramanik, A Goswami, R Ghosh, S Biswas
S Chakraborty, A Pramanik, A Goswami, R Ghosh, S Biswas. Microbiological Quality Of Sweetmeat With Special Reference To Staphylococci. The Internet Journal of Microbiology. 2004 Volume 1 Number 1.
Safe food production in countries like India is based in the use of preventive measures such as the use of safe raw materials, application of good manufacturing practices, and application of Hazard Analysis of Critical Control point (HACCP) procedures. Adequate consumer protection can be achieved by measuring the microbiological data of end product. To improve the microbiological quality of Sandesh and Kalakand precaution against contamination must be taken at different Critical Control Points (Roy
Materials and Methods
The respondents were drawn randomly for each category of akers and handlers from the randomly selected shops for each sample (Sandesh and Kalakand) in both rural and urban areas. Following aforesaid manner of methodology, 19 makers and 11 handlers in urban areas and 28 makers and 2 handlers in rural areas were selected. Face to face interviews were conducted using a structured questionnaire. Standard Plate Count and coliform count for each sample was carried out according to the procedures prescribed in IS (1981) SP: 18(Part XI). ISI, Handbook of Food analysis and dairy products. Morphological characterization, identification and biochemical characterization of
Results and Discussion
From table 1 it is evident that the result is the same in both the areas regarding ‘wearing apron and gloves' during sweetmeat preparation. None of the respondents (100%) did wear apron and gloves during preparation. Therefore, the sweets became more prone to contamination by pathogenic organisms.
In regard to ‘cutting finger nails' urban respondents did it more regular than the rural respondents. In rural areas, 86.67% and 73.33% of the respondents engaged in Sandesh and Kalakand preparation respectively and do not cut their nails regularly. This potentially increases the contamination of sweets.
During the time of preparation, the product was not tested in rural areas (100%) but in urban areas some respondents (Kalakand 26.67%, Sandesh 13.33%) tested their product during preparation which is an unhygienic habit.
In investigating spitting habits, the rural respondents spit more frequently than urban respondents. The spitting incidence was highest (53.33%) in Kalakand preparations in the rural areas.
The habit of tobacco consumption was mostly high in urban areas and it was highest (60%) in Sandesh. In rural areas, it was moderately low and in Sandesh it was 13.33%. It can be concluded that the urban respondents are more unhygienic in terms of habit of tobacco consumption.
It is evident that most of the respondents in both areas touch other body parts during preparation of sweetmeat. But wat is higher in urban areas (93.33%) and lowest in rural areas (60%). It is a very unhygienic habit which increases the microbial load during preparation.
Hand washing before starting the preparation was highest in urban areas (86.67%). But it was very low in rural areas. In Sandesh it was 13.33%. We can conclude that this good hygienic measure was more common in urban areas compared to rural areas.
It is clear that most of the urban sweet shops (80% in Sandesh) have a fly proof arrangement. But in rural area the picture is different. Here, only 53.33% of the sweet shops have fly proofing arrangements. From this we can conclude that fly proof systems can protect the sweets from getting contaminated which happens more frequaently in rural areas than urban areas.
All the sweet trays (100%) are cleaned everyday in urban areas in both Sandesh and Kalakand. But in rural areas it was lowest with 66.67% Kalakand. It can be concluded that urban respondents maintain more hygienic measures to keep the sweets.
Rodents are found in all shops in rural areas (100%) in both Sandesh and Kalakand. But in urban areas there are few shops that are rodents free. From this we can conclude that better hygienic condition in this regard is maintained in urban areas than in rural areas.
It is clear that in rural areas most shops use their own raw materials (100%) in the sweets. But in urban areas it is lower because they use raw materials from outside and it is maximum (98.33%) in Kalakand. Use of own raw material is a good hygienic practice which is more often used in rural areas than in urban.
The coliform and Standard Plate Counts of Kalakand and Sandesh samples are shown in tables 2 & 3. The tables depicted a significant difference in coliform count in the samples of rural and urban Kalakand. The average count in urban and rural samples was 2.456 X 10 2 c.f.u/ gm and 4.813 X 10 2 c.f.u/ gm respectively. Dwarkanath and Srikanta (1977) reported the coliform count of 4 c.f.u/ gm in the Kalakand sample. Here, the study is showing higher count due to unhygienic condition during preparation, contamination from water, equipments, soil, personnel and more materials etc.
The table also depicted that the average coliform in urban and rural Sandesh samples were 2.653 10 2 c.f.u/ gm and 3.366 10 2 c.f.u/ gm respectively. Misra and Kulia (1988) reported the coliform count ranging between 10 c.f.u/ gm to 1.0 10 2 c.f.u/ gm in Sandesh samples.
A significant difference in SPC of various Kalakand samples was observed between urban and rural areas. The average SPC in urban and rural Kalakand sample was 1.37 X 10 5 c.f.u/ gm and 3.82 X 10 5 c.f.u/ gm respectively. Singh
An insignificant difference in SPC of various Sandesh samples of urban and rural areas was observed. The average SPC in urban and rural Sandesh samples was 2.1 X 10 5 c.f.u/ gm and 94.6 X 10 5 c.f.u/ gm respectively. Sen and Rajorhia (1989) reported that the product (Sandesh) showed the count 3 X 10 5 c.f.u/ gm to 7.5 X 10 7 c.f.u/ gm.
47 coagulase positive strains of staphylococci isolated from both the sweets (Kalakand and Sandesh) were examined to determine their physiological characters i.e. pigment production and biochemical properties. For this purpose, isolates were subjected to various biochemical tests, the results of which are shown in table 4. On observation of colony character it was found that majority of coagulase positive isolates showed lemon yellow pigments which was highest in rural Kalakand (70%). In case of biochemical properties, all coagulase positive isolates were negative for Indole test. The majority was positive for methyl red (highest- 100% in case of Rural Sandesh) and 100% were positive for Voges-proskauer.
In sugar fermentation, all coagulase positive isolates were negative for salicin and the majority was positive for lactose, mannitol, maltose, sucrose as shown in the table 5. From above observations it can be confirmed that the organisms were staphylococci.
From the table 6 it is evident that out of 15 Kalakand samples of urban and rural areas 12 (80%) and 10 (66.66%) were coagulase positive respectively. The higher count of coagulase positive Staphylococci in Sandesh than Kalakand may be due to the fact that Kalakand is supported by high level of heat treatment, low moisture and high sucrose contents. This fact is confirmed by Sen and Rajorhia (1989). The table also showed that all the Kalakand and Sandesh samples of both urban and rural areas were staphylococcus positive.
Table 7 shows the number of coagulase positive strains of Staphylococcus that exhibited reaction on variable period of incubation. From the table it is also clear that most of the coagulase positive strains of Staphylococcus exhibited reaction in 4 hrs incubation at 37 0 C temperature.
The authors acknowledge the researchers of Institute of Animal Health & Veterinary Biologicals, Govt. of West Bengal for their cooperation during the biochemical testing.