Assessment of microbial quality of commercial and home-made tiger-nut beverages

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Aims:We aimed to assess the microbiological quality of Spanish commercial tiger-nut beverages as well as home-made samples collected from supermarkets, street vendors, juice bars and ice-cream parlours located in Valencia.Methods and Results:Microbiological analysis of 44 tiger-nut beverages samples were carried out according to International Standard Organization (ISO) norms and published works which included the total viable count, Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Bacillus cereus, yeasts, moulds, Yersinia enterocolitca, Clostridium perfringens, Vibrio spp. and Listeria monocytogenes. The obtained results indicated that all the commercial samples were below the detection limit for the viable microorganisms. Results of analysis of those home-made tiger-nut samples revealed that 67% (16 samples) harboured total plate counts while the rest of samples were free from these microorganisms. Enterobacteriaceae were detected in 62% (15 samples). E. coli were found in only one sample (4%), yeasts and moulds were detected in 62% (15 samples) each, Shigella was found in 21% (five samples); however, all samples were free from S. aureus, Salmonella, Y. enterocolotica, C. perfringens, Vibrio spp. and L. monocytogenes.Conclusions:These results reflected that there exists a rather high contamination level in home-made tiger-nut beverages indicating the need to apply correct and strict HACCP system(s) during manufacturing and storage of these food products.Significance and Impact of Study:This study demonstrates the great need to carry out microbiological tests frequently in these products and even more the need to apply correct HACCP system (s). Tiger-nut beverages are especially well-known products in Spain, hence it is extremely important to ensure an adequate microbiological quality to guarantee consumers health.

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