FUNGI ASSOCIATED WITH SPOILAGE OF SMOKED DRIED FISH
Fish is highly nutritious with high protein content. However, it is a suitable medium for growth of microorganisms, if poorly processed (Oparaku and Mgbenka, 2012). The growth of microorganisms and other non-microbial activities such as lipid oxidation contribute to the deterioration of fish products (Martin, 2010). An increase in the ambient temperature triggers favourable conditions for microorganisms to thrive, which reduces the quality of fish and its potential keeping time leading to food loss (Abolagba et al., 2011). Preserving food and other perishable products like fish and meat generally involves processes that impede growth of microorganisms either by the addition of growth inhibiting ingredients or adjusting storage conditions by freezing or drying (Akise et al., 2013). Processing methods affect the microorganisms in fish in different ways, resulting in different types of micro-flora and different risks from spoilage organisms and pathogens. In dried fish, the micro-flora are prevented from growing by the storage method used and the product may have a long shelf life in the preserved state. However, the microbial load of fish rarely indicates the quality of the fish, but gives an indication of the risk of spoilage induced since each of the organisms has different ways of affecting the health conditions of consumers of such contaminated fish (Gram et al., 2015). As result there is a need to investigate microorganisms such fungi that are associated to fish spoilage. This necessitated this study into investigating fungi associated with smoked dried fish vended in Eke –Awka Market in Anambra state.
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