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Microbiological Quality of Retail Spices in Tehran, Iran

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Abstract:

The microbiological quality of 351 samples of nine types of spices including black pepper, caraway, cinnamon, cow parsnip, curry powder, garlic powder, red pepper, sumac, and turmeric, collected from retail shops in Tehran during 2007, was determined. The numbers of aerobic mesophilic bacteria, Escherichia coli, and molds exceeded Iran's National Standard limits, at 63.2% (>5 × 105 CFU/g), 23.4% (>0.3 MPN/g), and 21.9% (>5 × 103 CFU/g) of the studied samples, respectively. Coliform contamination was more than 103 MPN/g in 24.8% of samples. High contamination of retail spices is considered an indication of environmental or fecal contamination due to unhygienic practices in their production. Use of spices with high microbial content could increase the chance of food spoilage and transmission of foodborne pathogens. Accordingly, application of food safety measurements to reduce microbial counts in spices is strongly recommended.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-12-180

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Technology, Research National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box, 19395-4741, Tehran, Iran 2: Department of Food Science and Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box, 19395-4741, Tehran, Iran. h_nikoopour@yahoo.com 3: Department of Microbiology, School of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 14155-6455, Tehran, Iran 4: Department of Food Technology Research, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box, 19395-4741, Tehran, Iran 5: Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 19395-4719, Tehran, Iran

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