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Research Journal of Agronomy
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 19 - 26

Effects of Blanching on the Microbial Load of Processed Cocoyam Leaves (Xanthosoma sagiitifolium) During the Storage Period

Afrifa Tweneboaa Josephine, Osisiogu Udochukwu Emmanuel and Appiah Victoria    

Abstract: Cocoyam leaf (Xanthosoma sagiitifolium) (refered to as ‘Kontommire’ in the Ghanaian setting) is arguably one of the most readily available and cheap indigenous leafy vegetable that is commonly consumed in Ghana. It is noted to be a good source of minerals, vitamins and soluble fibre when consumed in its fresh (not raw though) state. However, this vegetable is highly perishable. Dehydration methods and jute sack storage are usually used for its preservation. However, these lead to discolouration, loss of some nutrients and exposure to microbial contamination thus reducing the general acceptability by consumers. In view of this, this study was conducted to process and preserve the leaves in their fresh state. The preservation method investigated was blanching. The effect of this preservation method on microbial quality (total viable count, total coliforms, yeast and moulds count using serial dilution) was determined. The shelf-life study lasted for three weeks with sampling at weekly intervals. Data obtained were analysed using the Statgraphics Centurion (16th edition). Microbiological quality assessment of the processed leaves also showed that blanching treatment significantly reduced the total viable count of the cocoyam leaf but increased the yeast and mould growth when stored for longer period. Samples stored in hermetically sealed bag package and ambient temperature (300°C) also had increase in the total viable count, yeast and mould count and total coliform count during storage.

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