Temporal changes in the microbial community of salted goat meat


  • A.M. Ahmed El-Imam
  • J. Akintunde
  • O.O. Nihi


Chevon, fungi, bacteria, preservation, microbial counts


Meat preservation by salting was common in Nigeria before widespread electrification replaced it with refrigeration. However, salting still has its place due to chronic nationwide power shortages. This study investigates the effect of varying salt concentrations on the microbial community of salted goat meat. Fresh goat meat was treated with salt (w/w 0 - 20 %) and air-dried. Proximate composition of all samples was determined. Microbial counts were monitored over five weeks, while recovered isolates were identified phenotypically. All treatments lowered bacterial counts compared to control, but raised fungal counts due to decreased MC from 64.5 % to 24.1 % and decreased bacterial competition. The mean counts were log10 4.93 – log10 5.34 and log10 1.45 – log10 3.8 for bacteria and fungi respectively. The 20 % salt concentration was most effective for decreasing the bacterial population to log10 5.1 by Day 14 while 5 % treatment yielded the lowest fungal growths with log10 2.52. The 20 % salt treatment however had the highest fungal counts. Microorganisms including Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria spp., A. fumigatus and A. flavus were recovered. While this study shows the potential for salting as a cheap and easy meat preservation method, possible mycotoxin contamination needs to be investigated.







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