Microbiological Evaluation of Sprouts Marketed in Mumbai

Microbiological evaluation of sprouts marketed in Mumbai, India, and its suburbs.

J Food Prot. 2006 Oct;69(10):2515-8.

Saroj SD, Shashidhar R, Dhokane V, Hajare S, Sharma A, Bandekar JR.

Food Technology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400 085, India. 

A study was undertaken to assess the microbiological quality of sprouts marketed in Mumbai and its suburbs. A total of 124 sprout samples of four different legumes--mung (Phaseolus aureus), matki (Phaseolus aconitifolius), chana (Cicer arietinum), and vatana (Pisum sativum)--were analyzed over a period of 12 months for aerobic plate counts, coliforms, yeast and mold counts, staphylococci, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, E. coli O157:H7, and coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus. Aerobic plate counts ranged from 7.6 to 8.9 log CFU/g, coliform counts ranged from 5.4 to 7.9 log CFU/g, yeast and mold counts ranged from 3.6 to 7.3 log CFU/g, and staphylococci counts ranged from 3.3 to 6.6 log CFU/ g. Nonpathogenic E. coli was detected in 13% of the mung, 26% of the matki, 40% of the chana, and 19% of the vatana samples. Salmonella Typhimurium was detected in 21% of the mung, 40% of the matki, and 4% of the chana samples. Salmonella Dublin was detected in 2% of the mung samples, and Salmonella Washington was detected in 4% of the matki samples. L. monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 were not detected in any of the samples examined. Coagulase-positive S. aureus was detected in 4% of the mung, 11% of the matki, and 4% of the chana samples. The results indicated that the marketed sprouts were of poor microbiological quality; therefore, further processing, such as radiation processing, is needed to ensure their safety.