Microbial profile of sun dried fermented tiger fish (Hydrocynus ssp) locally known as Abil Alier sold in local markets in South Sudan
Amegovu K Andrew, Mawadri Michael, Juliana Mandha, Peter Yiga
Background: Traditionally, sundried fermentedfishis a part of a habitual diet of South Sudanese. Sun-dried fermented tiger fish (hydrocynus ssp) is among the most consumed. Fermentation is usually spontaneous, largely uncontrolled and done under poor sanitary environments while sun drying is done on bare ground, possibly presenting microbial food safety risk. Despite this probable risk, no microbial profiling has been done on this commonly eaten sun dried fermented tiger fish. Hence, the need to characterize the microbial profile of sun-dried fermented tiger fish sold in local markets in Juba, south Sudan. Methods: Sun dried fermented tiger fish samples were randomly selected from Konyokonyo market in the city of Juba.Standardized procedures based on International Standards Organization were used for the enumeration of microbial profile of samples. Results: Analyzed samples had a high total microbial count, ranging from 3.7 x 106cfu/g to 1.0x105cfu/g. Beneficial LAB genera were the most dominant with counts in ranges of 3.5 x 105 cfu/g to 4.1 x 104cfu/g across samples. Though present in lower levels compared to LAB, total enterobacteriacea and coliforms were present in potential risk levels; 4.0x103 cfu/g to 2.0 x 103 cfu/g and 2.5x103 to 1.0x103cfu/g respectively. Yeasts and molds were also present, though in very low levels. Conclusion: Sun-dried fermented tiger fish is microbiologically unsafe; though the beneficial LAB formed the highest microbial population, both enterobacteriacea and coliforms were within levels in which they pose a risk of food poisoning to the public. Efforts are thus needed to line the handling practices according to the good manufacturing practices so as to avert this risk.