FOOD RISK ASSESSMENT OF PROCESSED FOOD PRODUCTS SOLD BY WOMEN FOOD BUSINESS OPERATORS IN TRIVANDRUM, KERALA
Publication Date : 26/05/2015
The healthy wellbeing of mankind depends mainly on the consumption of quality food. These days Self Help Groups (SHG) are implementing a large number of village cottage industries, especially food processing industries. The objectives of the study is to assess microbial quality of processed food items prepared by women food business operators. In this regard, 50 SHG women from ten vegetable and fruit processing units who are involved in food processing trade in Trivandrum and Kollam Districts, Kerala were selected for the study. The present study was undertaken to investigate the microbiological and chemical quality of ten most commonly processed and sold processed food items by women food business operators. One processed product from each unit were aseptically collected for conducting food risk assessment through microbial and chemical tests. Thus a total number of ten processed food items sold by these units were selected for conducting food risk assessment. The samples were analyzed by standard procedures within one day of procurement. Microbial analysis of the food samples revealed high loads of bacterial and fungal contamination. Results of the microbial test revealed that total bacterial count in nine samples varied between 18.5 - 159.5x104 cfu/ g and fungal contamination varied between 4.50 – 67.0 x 103 cfu/ g. With regard to food risk assessment through chemical tests, it was found that only one product (lemon pickle) contained higher level of preservative than permissible limits and in four products (narunandi squash, nutmeg syrup, grape wine and jack fruit health tonic) it was seen that the total soluble solids content was lesser than the prescribed standards as per food safety regulations (FSSAI). The study highlights the need for conducting food risk assessment of small scale processing units, and also conducting awareness programmes for the food business operators for maintaining quality of processed foods.
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