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Article Title

Survey of the aerobic viable cell count, coliform, Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, and physical properties of the sweet dumpling food in Taiwan

Abstract

A total of 154 samples of sweet dumpling food(SDF), including 102 samples of the flour-packed SDF and 52 samples of the rice-packed SDF, were bought from the conventional markets, supermarkets, confectioneries, and temples throughout Taiwan. The microbiological quality was assessed by the assay of aerobic viable cell count, coliform, Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, and related pathogens. The physical properties including pH value, water activity(Aw), and Brix of SDF were also tested. A comparison of the flour-packed SDF with the rice-packed SDF showed significant differences in the detection of aerobic viable cell count and coliform. Incidence of E. coli was 9.80% in the flour-packed SDF and 11.53% in the rice-packed SDF. B. cereus was identified exclusively in the flour-packed SDF. Two strains of newly ascribed food poisons pathogens, B. subtilis and B. pumilus, were isolated. Among them, B. subtilis was detected in three samples of the rice-packed SDF and in one of the flour-packed SDF, while B. pumilus was found exclusively in the flour-packed SDF. One of the thermal resistant strains B. stearothermophilus and another strain of B. laterosporus were isolated from the rice-packed SDF, whereas B. sphaericus were identified in the flour-packed SDF. Most of the SDF were examined with physical properties of pH ranged from 4.9 to 7.2, Aw 0.60 - 0.89, and Brix 35 - 40° . The variation in methods for preparation of filled sweet dumpling, pre-cooked(i.e. the flour-packed SDF) and post-cooked(i.e. the rice-packed SDF) food, influenced the incidence of aerobic viable cell count and coliform. However, the incidence of coliform, E. coli, and Bacillus cereus were not affected by wraping or by the physical properties of the SDF products.

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