Microbiological stability of chemically preserved apricot pulp

Jabar Zaman Khan Khattak, Adil Hussain, Bilal Ahmad, Muhammad Fazal ul Rehman, Zafar Ullah, Huma Arshad, Azhar Hussain


Background: There exist different methods to preserve the nutrition, color and taste of the fruit pulp for prolonged availability. Bacterial and fungal growth greatly affect the texture and taste of the pulp, if stored for longer period of time. Evaluation of different chemical preservatives to check efficacy and effects on microbial culture growth holds prime importance. The efforts are made in the present investigation to analyze the effect of various concentrations of Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Metabisulphite as preservative on microbial quality of apricot pulp during storage. 
Method: The uniformly ripened Halman Apricot pulp was extracted and preserved by chemical preservatives such as Sodium Benzoate (SB), and Potassium Meta-Bisulphite (PMS) at different concentrations. The pulp was investigated for Microbiological parameters i.e. total bacterial count (TBC) and total fungal count (TFC). The inhibitory activity of chemical preservatives was tested periodically by simulating the industrial storage conditions for apricot pulp in the lab (30-42ºC in the dark), for a duration of 60 days.
Results: Significant inhibition in total bacterial count (TBC) was observed in chemically preserved samples. Potassium Metabisulphite was found to be more effective and the highest inhibitory effects on bacterial growth in apricot samples were observed at a concentration of 250mg/250g and 125mg/250g. These were followed by Sodium Benzoate at concentrations of 250mg/250g and 125mg/250g.
Conclusions: This study confirms that the preservatives significantly reduced bacterial and fungal growth in apricot pulp during storage and the pulp was safe for two months without spoilage.


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