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Microbiological quality and proximate composition of peanut cake (Kulikuli) in Nigerian markets

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Microbiological Quality and Proximate Composition of Peanut cake (Kulikuli) in Nigerian Markets
*1Ezekiel C.N., 2Anokwuru C.P., 1Fari A., 3Olorunfemi M.F., 1Fadairo O., 2Ekeh H.A., 1Ajoku K., 1Gbuzue N. and
1Akinsanmi F.
1Department of Biosciences & Biotechnology, Babcock University, PMB 21244, Ikeja, Nigeria.
2Department of Chemical & Environmental Sciences, Babcock University, PMB 21244, Ikeja, Nigeria.
3Department of Microbiology, Nigerian Stored Product Research Institute, Ibadan.
*Correspondence: <chaugez@gmail.com>; +234-703-8167130
Abstract: Peanut cake (Kulikuli) is a groundnut-based snack that is consumed by all age range among the
indigenous West African populace. It is also used as a major ingredient in poultry feed formulation. However, there
is scarcity of data with regards to the microbiological quality of Kulikuli across Nigeria or other Kulikuli consuming
West African states. In this study, 49 Kulikuli samples obtained from markets in nine districts within Nigeria were
subjected to microbial and proximate analyses in order to ascertain the quality of this food material. All the samples
had bacterial and fungal contamination at varying levels ranging from 4.2×106to 1.0×107cfu/g for bacteria, and
1.1×103to 2.8×104cfu/g for fungi, however, not all samples were contaminated with pathogenic Gram-negative
bacteria. The contaminating enterobacteria included species of Escherichia, Enterobacter, Salmonella, Shigella,
Proteus and Klebsiella. The enterobacteria gave varying haemolytic reactions. Species of Aspergillus, Fusarium,
Penicillium, Rhizopus and Trichoderma were the fungi recovered from the samples. Aspergillus species were the
most commonly isolated fungi and had a significantly (P<0.05) different relative density of 84.7% from other fungi.
The data obtained for proximate composition varied from location to location. Crude protein was significantly
(P<0.05) higher than all other parameters in the market and control samples. Crude protein and crude fat contents
were significantly (P<0.05) higher in control samples than all market samples. Correlation analysis showed an
inverse relationship between the total bacterial and fungal loads and individual proximate parameters in the Kulikuli
samples. The data obtained in this study showed that the presence of contaminating microbes was responsible for
depreciation in nutritional value in Kulikuli.
[Ezekiel C.N., Anokwuru C.P., Fari A., Olorunfemi M.F., Fadairo O., Ekeh H.A., Ajoku K., Gbuzue N. and
1Akinsanmi F. Microbiological Quality and Proximate Composition of Peanut cake (Kulikuli) in Nigerian
Markets. Academia Arena, 2011;3(4):103-111] (ISSN 1553-992X). http://www.sciencepub.net.
Keywords: Peanut cake, Kulikuli, Fungi, Enterobacteriaceae, Microbial quality, Proximate, Food quality.
1. Introduction
Peanut cake (Kulikuli) is a groundnut-based snack
indigenous to the West African coasts. Being a snack,
it is consumed by all age range but more specifically by
school-age children and the middle aged. It is also used
as a major ingredient in poultry feed formulation
(Akano and Atanda, 1990). Kulikuli is usually
produced from groundnut during groundnut oil
extraction or otherwise, and it is simply regarded as the
fried residue obtained from this process (Adebesin et
al., 2001). It has been reported to be rich in protein and
crude fat similar to its parent material, groundnut
(Aletor and Ojelabi, 2007; Oladimeji and Kolapo,
2008).
Although peanut cake is consumed by humans
across some West African states, only very few data
are currently available on this food material in terms of
its safety and nutritional status. Interestingly, the
available data originate from Nigeria and have focused
on the microbiological quality of Kulikuli, nutritive
attributes and functional characteristics (Adebesin et
al., 2001; Aletor and Ojelabi, 2007). The scarcity of
data in regards to the microbiological quality of
Kulikuli across Nigeria or other Kulikuli consuming
West African states may be due to the fact that this
product is mostly consumed by the low income
populace and therefore not seen as a major food.
However, Aletor and Ojelabi (2007) reported that this
snack could serve as a major protein supplement since
it contained high crude protein.
The enterobacteria are a large group of related
bacteria that are capable of food and water
contamination through faecal sources. Many of the
strains and species are known to be enterotoxigenic and
contribute a major quota to the many diarrheal illnesses
experienced by man (Talaro and Talaro, 2002).
Therefore, in the bid to enhance human health and
secure food safety as well as public health
enlightenment to food-borne illnesses, there is a need
to evaluate the microbial load of this snack available
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for human consumption in markets across Nigeria.
Also, considering the fact that information obtained via
questionnaire indicates that many school-age children
consume this product that is known to be locally
processed and under packaged, there is an urgent need
to ascertain the cause of the frequent diarrheal cases
reported by patients of this age group to nearby clinics
after history of contact with this food. In essence, this
research aims at evaluating Kulikuli samples obtained
from various markets across Nigeria for microbial
contamination and proximate changes. This will help to
determine the food quality, relationship between
microbial presence and count in this food and nutrient
depletion, and possible associated public health risks
posed by the consumption of this snack.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1 Survey and Sample collection
A survey was conducted in markets in nine
districts within four agro-ecological zones of Nigeria in
order to assess the microbiological quality and
proximate profile of Kulikuli available for human
consumption. The survey involved the acquisition of
information (by questionnaire) from several categories
of individuals that come in contact with this food
product and subsequent collection of the Kulikuli
samples for analysis. The categories of individuals
included producers, traders and consumers while the
agro-ecological zones (AEZ) and districts were Humid
forest (HF) (Oshodi, Mile 2, Ikorodu), Derived
Savannah (DS) (Abeokuta, Sagamu, Ibadan), Southern
Guinea Savannah (SGS) (Minna) and Northern Guinea
Savannah (NGS) (Chencheya and Kaduna Central). A
total of 49 Kulikuli samples were collected during the
survey. Forty-six of the samples were market samples
while the other three were obtained from the producers
at the point of production in Chencheya district. The
market samples were collected from five traders in
each district with the exception of Sagamu and Ibadan
where Kulikuli from three and eight traders were
sampled respectively. The producer samples were used
as control samples in the proximate composition
analysis.
Each sample collected from a trader or producer
weighed approximately 1.5kg and was a bulk sample
obtained by adding three parts each of about 500g
representative sample collected from various parts of
the traders’ storage bags or trays. Each bulk sample
was collected into a transparent zip-lock bag,
comminuted immediately in order to reduce the particle
size and stored at 4 oC prior to further analysis within
48 hours.
2.2 Bacteriological analysis of Kulikuli samples
Each sample was subjected to bacteriological
analysis to determine the total bacterial load in
consumable Kulikuli. The contaminating
enterobacteriaceae were also determined in each
sample according to the ISO Standard 7402 (1993) for
Enterobacteriaceae plate count. The enterobacteria
were sought for as an index of the quality of this
product since it is known that some of the bacteria
within this class are used as indicators of faecal
contamination in food and drinks. One gram of each
sample was suspended in 9ml of 2% sterile peptone
water and serially diluted. Aliquots were pour-plated in
triplicates on Nutrient and MacConkey agars. The
nutrient agar plates were used for the Total bacterial
count (TBC) in colony forming units per gram (cfu/g)
while the MacConkey plates were for initial isolation
of enterobacteria. Each distinct colony on MacConkey
plate was picked and purified twice on MacConkey,
Eosin-Methylene Blue and Salmonella-Shigella agars
to ascertain morphological consistency. Plates were
incubated at 37 oC for 24 hours. The purified colonies
were subjected to biochemical characterization
according to Cowan and Stell (1993) and Brown
(2005).
A blood agar haemolytic test was conducted for all
distinct colonies of contaminating enterobacteria so as
to determine their virulence potential. The data
obtained were reported as percentage haemolytic and
non haemolytic enterobacteriaceae in each sampled
location. The occurrence of each genus of Gram-
negative bacteria in each sample was recorded as their
relative density (Rd).
2.3 Mycological analysis of Kulikuli samples
The method of Samson et al. (1995b) was
employed in the mycological analysis of each Kulikuli
sample as a contribution to the assessment of microbial
quality of the food material. Ten grams of each sample
was diluted in sterile distilled water and pour-plated on
Plate Count agar supplemented with 0.4g/L
streptomycin sulphate and 0.2g/L chloramphenicol.
The colonies on the Plate Count agar plates were
counted using a digital illuminated colony counter
(KA00-74A) and recorded as colony forming units per
gram (cfu/g) for the Total fungal count (TFC). Each
colony was transferred to freshly prepared acidified
Potato Dextrose agar plates for proper identification.
Plates were incubated at 31 oC for 72 hours. Fungal
identification was by assessing macro- and micro-
characters specific for each genus and comparing the
data with descriptions and illustrations in Raper and
Fennel (1965) and Samson et al. (1995a). The
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distribution of contaminating fungal genera in each
sample was reported as relative density (Rd) of each
genus according to the definitions of Ezekiel et al.
(2008).
2.4 Proximate analysis of kulikuli samples
The proximate composition of each Kulikuli
sample was determined as an index for monitoring the
product quality and deducing the possible storage
duration of the food material since production till date.
The parameters assessed were moisture content, crude
protein, crude fat and ash content, all expressed as
percentage. The samples collected from producers as
described above were used as control samples. The
Kjedahl, soxhlet, dry ashing and oven drying to
constant weight methods of AOAC (1995) and Nielsen
(2002) were followed for the analysis of crude protein,
crude fat, ash and moisture contents, respectively. The
pH of the samples was also determined.
2.5 Data Analysis
The One-way ANOVA test was used for
comparison of means of TBC across agro-ecological
zones, overall Rd (%) for fungal genera and means of
individual nutrient profiles in the proximate analysis
data. The means were separated for test of significance
by the Duncan’s Multiple Range Test at P= 0.05.
3. Results
3.1 Bacterial load in Kulikuli from Nigerian
markets
A total of 49 Kulikuli samples were analyzed for
total bacterial load. All the samples had bacterial
contamination at varying levels. Samples from Oshodi
had the highest total bacterial count (TBC) of 1.0×107
cfu/g while those from Sagamu had the least, 4.2×106
(Table 1). Generally, samples from locations within the
HF had higher TBC values (8.5×106cfu/g) resulting
in a higher significant (P<0.05) mean TBC for HF
(9.6×106cfu/g) than the other AEZs excluding SGS.
The mean TBC for SGS was not calculated since this
AEZ had samples from only one location. The DS and
NGS had the same mean TBC value of 6.3×106cfu/g.
Table 1. Bacterial load and distribution of Gram-negative bacteria in Kulikuli sold in markets within four agro-
ecological zones in Nigeria
+AEZ Location
*
TBC
(cfu/g)
Relative density (Rd) (%) of genera of Gram-negative bacteria occurring in samples
~
%Haemolytic
Enterobacter E.
coli Salmonella Shigella Proteus Pseudomonas Klebsiella Flavobacterium H nH
HF Oshodi 1.0×10
7
--- --- 25.0 75.0 --- --- --- --- 100 0
Mile 2 8.5×10
6
--- --- 42.9 57.1 --- --- --- --- 71.4 28.6
Ikorodu 9.9×10
6
--- --- 20.0 40.0 40.0 --- --- --- 100 0
Mean 9.6×10
6a
DS Abeokuta 5.1×10
6
28.6 14.3 7.1 28.6 --- --- 21.4 --- 61.5 38.5
Sagamu 4.2×10
6
75.0 --- --- --- 25.0 --- --- --- 24.0 75.0
Ibadan 7.8×10
6
--- --- 12.5 12.5 12.5 62.5 --- --- 50.0 50.0
Mean 6.3×10
6b
SGS
NGS
Minna 6.4×10
6
--- --- --- 50.0 --- 16.7 --- 33.3 33.3 66.7
Chencheya 5.4×10
6
--- --- 33.3 55.5 --- 11.1 --- --- 77.7 22.2
Kaduna 7.1×10
6
37.5 --- 12.5 12.5 --- 37.5 --- --- 25.0 75.0
Mean 6.3×10
6b
Overall Rd (%) --- 15.4 3.1 16.9 33.9 6.2 15.4 4.6 3.1 59.4 40.6
+AEZ: agroecological zones; HF: Humid Forest, DS: Derived, SGS: Southern Guinea and NGS: Northern Guinea
Savannah
*TBC (cfu/g): Total bacterial count in colony forming units per gram
~% Haemolytic refers to proportion of haemolytic to non haemolytic strains of enterobacteriaceae in each location;
H = Haemolytic strains, nH = non haemolytic
Mean cfu/g values in a column with different alphabets are significantly different at P<0.05
3.2 Incidence of Gram-negative bacteria in Kulikuli
from Nigerian markets
A total of 63 Gram-negative bacteria belonging to
6 enterobacteria genera (Escherichia, Enterobacter,
Salmonella, Shigella, Proteus and Klebsiella) and two
non enterobacteria genera (Pseudomonas and
Flavobacterium) were recovered from the Kulikuli
samples (Table 1). E. coli and Klebsiella were detected
only in samples collected from Abeokuta and they
occurred as 14.3% and 21.4% of the total Gram-
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negative bacteria in Kulikuli from Abeokuta,
respectively. Flavobacterium was detected only in
samples from Minna at a proportion of 33.3% of the
total contaminating Gram-negative bacteria from
Minna. Shigella was detected in relatively high
proportions in samples from all locations except
Sagamu where it was not detected. Similarly,
Salmonella was present in samples from all locations
except Sagamu and Minna, although at low to
moderate proportions. Proteus was detected in samples
from DS and HF while Pseudomonas, in samples from
other AEZs excluding HF. Enterobacter was only
recovered from samples obtained from Abeokuta,
Sagamu and Kaduna central.
In terms of the overall percentage proportionate
occurrence of each genus, Shigella had the highest Rd
value (33.9%) while E. coli and Flavobacterium
occurred the least (Rd =3.1%). Salmonella occurred as
50% of the proportion of Shigella. Haemolytic
enterobacteria strains were detected at varying
proportions in samples from all locations (Table 1).
However, all enterobacteria in samples from Oshodi
and Ikorodu were haemolytic while 50% of the
enterobacteria in Kulikuli from Ibadan were
haemolytic.
3.3 Fungal load in Kulikuli samples from Nigerian
markets
All Kulikuli samples analyzed in this study had
fungal contamination at varying levels. A total of 403
fungal isolates belonging to 5 identified genera
(Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium, Rhizopus and
Trichoderma) and other unidentified genera were
recovered from the analyzed samples. Samples from
Ikorodu had the highest total fungal count (TFC) of
2.8×104cfu/g while those from Sagamu had the least
fungal load, 4.7×102cfu/g (Table 2). The mean fungal
load of samples from HF (1.7×104cfu/g) was higher
than those in other AEZs, although there was no
significant (P>0.05) difference in the fungal loads
across all AEZs.
Aspergillus species were recovered from samples
in all locations at Rd >60% while Fusarium species
were detected in samples from all locations except Mile
2. Penicillium species were present in samples from all
locations except Mile 2, Sagamu and Minna while
Rhizopus species occurred only in samples from Mile
2, Abeokuta, Ibadan and Kaduna central. Trichoderma
was present in samples from Oshodi, Mile 2, Abeokuta
and Kaduna central. On the overall, the incidence of
Aspergillus species was the highest (Rd =84.7%) being
Table 2. Occurrence and distribution of moulds in Kulikuli sold in markets within four agro-ecological zones in Nigeria
+AEZ Location *TFC (cfu/g)
Relative density (Rd) (%) of fungal genera occurring in samples
Aspergillus Fusarium Penicillium Rhizopus Trichoderma Others
HF Oshodi 2.4×10
4
85.3 8.0 4.0 --- 1.3 1.3
Mile 2 1.1×10
3
88.2 --- --- 2.9 2.9 5.8
Ikorodu 2.8×10
4
79.2 13.0 3.9 --- --- 3.9
Mean 1.7×10
4
DS Abeokuta 1.5×10
3
83.8 5.4 2.7 5.4 2.7 ---
Sagamu 4.7×10
2
85.7 14.3 --- --- --- ---
Ibadan 5.2×10
3
91.6 3.8 3.1 1.5 --- ---
Mean 3.2×10
3
SGS
NGS
Minna 2.7×10
3
95.2 4.8 --- --- --- ---
Chencheya 1.3×10
3
72.7 15.2 9.1 --- --- 3.0
Kaduna 1.2×10
3
62.1 13.8 6.9 3.4 6.9 6.9
Mean 1.2×10
3
Overall Rd (%) --- 84.7
7.5
b
3.4
bc
1.3
c
1.1
c
1.9
c
+AEZ: agroecological zones; HF: Humid Forest, DS: Derived, SGS: Southern Guinea and NGS: Northern Guinea
Savannah
*TFC (cfu/g): Total fungal count in colony forming units per gram
Overall Rd values (%) in a row with different alphabets are significantly different at P<0.05
significantly (P<0.05) higher than the proportion of all
other fungal genera. Trichoderma occurred the least
(Rd =1.1%) although its incidence was not significantly
(P>0.05) different than the incidence of Rhizopus and
other unidentified genera.
3.4 Proximate profile of Kulikuli from Nigeria
The parameters assessed in the proximate analysis
of the Kulikuli samples varied from location to
location. The mean moisture content in the market
samples ranged from 6.91±1.45 to 10.41±2.53 while
mean pH ranges were between 7.17±0.7 and 7.72±0.9.
Crude protein was significantly (P<0.05) higher than
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all other assayed parameters (crude fat, ash content and
moisture contents) in all market and control samples
(Fig. 1). Crude protein and crude fat contents
(39.7±0.46 and 30.3±0.91 respectively) were
significantly (P<0.05) higher in control samples than
all market samples (Fig. 1 and 2). Samples from NGS
(Chencheya and Kaduna central) and SGS (Minna) had
significantly (P<0.05) higher crude protein contents
than other market samples (Fig. 1 and 2). Kulikuli
samples collected from Sagamu had the least crude
protein value (26.48±0.35). Crude protein in samples
from HF (28.00±2.01) and DS (28.22±2.09) were
significantly (P<0.05) higher than the values obtained
in samples from SGS and NGS but not significantly
(P>0.05) different from control value (28.7±4.10).
Figure 1. Proximate profile of Kulikuli sold in Nigerian markets
Mc: Moisture content; Cf: Crude fat; Cp: Crude protein; Ac: Ash content
Considering the crude fat analysis of samples,
Kulikuli from Abeokuta had the highest residual crude
fat (24.7±8.53) which was significantly (P<0.05)
higher than crude fat in market samples from Ikorodu,
Sagamu and Ibadan only (Fig. 1). From the AEZ
standpoint, crude fat in Kulikuli samples collected from
NGS (21.95±3.37) was highest but not significantly
(P>0.05) different from samples in other AEZs (Fig.
2). Ash content was highest in samples from Minna
(4.6±0.96) and least in those from Oshodi (2.8±0.45).
No significant (P>0.05) difference was observed in the
ash contents of samples across AEZs.
Correlation analysis showed an inverse
relationship between the total bacteria load and
individual proximate parameters in the Kulikuli
samples. The same relationship was observed in the
case of the total fungal load and individual proximate
parameters in the samples. However, the relationship
was higher between bacteria load and crude protein,
and crude fat (r=-0.70) than the fungal load (r=-0.37).
Conversely, a higher inverse relationship was observed
between fungal load and ash content (r=-0.45) than
bacterial load and ash content (r=-0.42).
4. Discussion
In microbial analysis of food, the number and type
of microbes present in the food material under
examination reflect quality of the food and extent of
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risk posed to the consumers (Lund et al., 2000). In this
study, the Kuli-kuli samples were highly contaminated
with bacteria including pathogenic enterobacteria.
Fungi were also recovered although in lower counts as
compared to the bacterial load in the samples. Our
finding in this regard is in accordance with the reports
of Akano and Atanda (1990) and Adebesin et al. (2001)
who evaluated the microbial load of Kulikuli from
Bauchi, a Northern Nigerian city, and found the
bacterial counts to be higher than the fungal load. They
also reported Kulikuli to have higher microbial count
than other groundnut cereal-based products. Oladimeji
and Kolapo (2008) also stated that bacterial load tends
to be significantly higher in food samples than fungal
counts. This may be due to the fact that the generation
time of bacteria is lesser than that of fungi especially
moulds and also because bacteria being unicells,
reproduce by binary fission unlike moulds which
mostly divide after mycelia extension or spore
development. The higher bacterial load in samples
from Oshodi and the HF AEZ is a reflection of the
number of handlers that come in contact with this food
material in these locations which are highly populated
as compared to other locations.
Figure 2. Comparison of proximate profile of Kulikuli from markets in four agro-ecological zones in Nigeria
HF: Humid Forest, DS: Derived Savannah, SGS: Southern Guinea Savannah, NGS: Northern Guinea Savannah
The occurrence of enterobacteria especially
indicator bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella in the
Kulikuli samples obtained in markets across Nigeria is
of public health importance since these culprits reflect
the poor quality of this product in circulation. The
indicator bacteria alongside other isolated
enterobacteria such as Shigella, Klebsiella and Proteus
have been implicated in several human infections
(Collee et al., 1997; Delost 1997; Nzeako et al., 2002).
Salmonella, E. coli and Shigella are specifically known
for their potential to incite food poisoning and
intoxications, some strains of which liberate
enterotoxins (Lund et al., 2000; Nzeako et al., 2002;
Talaro and Talaro, 2002; Adegoke, 2004; Miki et al.,
2004). These bacteria are usually conveyed into food,
drink or water by vectors or faecally-contaminated
handlers who maintain a low level of hygiene (Lund et
al., 2000; Nzeako et al., 2002). Therefore, the
occurrence of these enterobacteria in Kulikuli samples
available for human consumption in Nigeria is
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alarming and poses great health hazard since their
counts exceed the acceptable limits set by the
International Commission on Microbiological
Specification of Food (ICMSF). However, a greater
risk is envisaged in Abeokuta where there was the
singular isolation of E. coli and a high incidence of
other enterobacteria than any other location. We may
then infer that the producers, handlers and traders of
this product in this location maintain a poor hygiene
status and low sanitary standards. In addition, the
occurrence of Proteus, Pseudomonas and Klebsiella,
notable lower respiratory tract pathogens, in the
Kulikuli samples create tension and may have resulted
also from poor handling and transportation methods
since it is known that this snack or roadside food is not
usually well packaged and exposed to the touch of
every potential buyer of this snack.
Considering the virulence of the enterobacteria in
each location, it is evident that a high risk of
haemorrhagic enterobacillosis is posed to the
consumers of this product, majority of which are
school-age children since it is well known that the
haemolytic enterobacteria are usually more virulent
than non-haemorrhagic strains (Finley and Falkow,
1988; Watanabe, 1988; Nowroozi and Hakemi vala,
2006). The high proportion of haemolytic
enterobacteria in each location except Sagamu, Minna
and Kaduna is alarming and may have contributed to
the high incidence of severe gastroenteritis or other
food-borne illnesses prevalent in those locations (data
obtained from questionnaire analysis). The higher
haemolytic incidence (%) as seen in Oshodi, Ikorodu,
Chencheya and Abeokuta districts were the
contributions mostly from Shigella and Salmonella
species, indicating that the children who consume this
snack daily may suffer or have suffered from severe
shigellosis and Salmonella infections caused by
haemolytic strains such as Shigella dysenteriae, S.
flexneri and Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and
Paratyphi (Sharma et al., 2001; Oscarsson et al., 2002;
Miki et al., 2004; Nowroozi and Hakemi vala, 2006)
The number and type of fungi recovered from the
Kulikuli samples in this study is also of immense public
health importance since some of the species are notable
toxin producers while the others are mere saprophytes;
inciting deterioration of the food material in their bid to
adapt and survive in the microenvironment. The
species of Aspergillus, Rhizopus and Penicillium
isolated from our samples corroborate the findings of
Adebesin et al. (2001) who reported these fungi as
contaminants of Kulikuli alongside others which we did
not recover or could not identify in this study.
Gachomo et al. (2004) and Jimoh and Kolapo (2008)
reported these fungi together with Fusarium to be the
major contaminating fungi of groundnut in storage.
Therefore, their occurrence in this food product may
have originated from the raw groundnut used in the
individual Kulikuli processing as well as the post-
production exposure of this marketed snacks to fungal
spore resident in the air. The earlier may be a minor
contributor as compared to the latter (exposure of
snacks in markets to air-borne fungal spores) since the
fungal count was higher in markets located in the HF
AEZ than other AEZs and locations. The locations
within the HF are well populated than other collection
sites of this snack across Nigeria.
The presence of Aspergillus species such as A.
flavus and A. niger, Fusarium species, Penicillium
species and Rhizopus in the Kulikuli samples pose a
toxicological threat to the consumers since majority of
the strains of these fungal species are toxigenic (Akano
and Atanda, 1990; Jimoh and Kolapo, 2008; Makun et
al., 2010). Rhizopus is known to liberate a metabolite
rhizonin A (Wilson et al., 1984) while aflatoxins,
ochratoxins, fumonisins, trichothecenes, citrinin and
patulin are well produced during metabolism by the
other above mentioned fungi. In 1990, Akano and
Atanda reported the presence of these fungi and
aflatoxins in Kulikuli from Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria
after the incidence of deaths resulting from
consumption of aflatoxin-contaminated foods in
Nigeria.
The contaminating bacteria and fungi of the
Kulikuli samples in this study were thus found to be
involved in the utilization of the nutrients inherent in
this food material. This was evident in the significant
(P< 0.05) depreciation of the crude protein and crude
fat contents of the market samples than the control
samples. The high crude protein content of the control
Kulikuli samples corroborates the reports of Aletor and
Ojelabi (2007) who reported a high crude protein value
of 32.4 ± 0.2 for laboratory-made Kulikuli and
Oladimeji and Kolapo (2008) who reported a very high
39.9% crude protein content of groundnut meant for
Kulikuli production. Although our control samples
were higher in crude protein value than reports of
Aletor and Ojelabi, the crude fat they reported was
higher than our data. It is interesting to note that the
samples from the northern regions of Nigeria (NGS and
SGS) had higher protein contents than other locations.
This indicates that the Kulikuli samples produced in the
northern parts are of a higher nutritional quality and
may have been from higher quality groundnut. On the
other hand, it may be that the time of transportation of
the snack produced in the North to the Western parts
where they are sold may have contributed to the
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deterioration of the samples from the South-western
part (DS and HF) evidenced in the lower nutritional
profiles in such samples. Since crude protein content
was generally higher in all samples than all other
nutrients, we may then support the fact that this snack
is a very high source of protein according to Aletor and
Ojelabi (2007).
The relationship between the contaminating
microbes and the nutrients in the snack was inverse as
seen from the high negative correlation values (> r=-
0.37). When considering the data, we suggest that the
bacteria contaminants may have utilized more of the
proteins and fat of this food material as their sole
nitrogen and carbon sources since the correlation
relationship was higher for bacterial load and the
nutrient profiles (r=-0.70) than the fungi (r=-0.37).
Therefore the bacteria contaminant played more role in
the deterioration of the Kulikuli samples from all
markets in Nigeria than the fungi, a data supported by
the significantly (P<0.05) higher bacterial load than
fungal amount in all samples from all locations.
Conclusively, we have for the first time reported
an extensive data on the microbial quality of peanut
cake and the implication of consuming such
contaminated products on human health and safety. In
this study we have related the relative microbial load to
the present nutritional quality of the food materials
available for consumption in the markets. To this we
suggest the following measures for Kulikuli
improvement in Nigeria and other Kuli-kuli consuming
West African countries; sourcing of high quality
peanuts for Kulikuli production; a high level of hygiene
and sanitation during production, and packaging of this
snack in zip-lock or sealed plastic bags. Since this
snack may serve as supplement to low nitrogen foods
such as cereal-based snacks and foods, and tubers it is
advised that Kulikuli be consumed within 14 days of
production to avoid the consumption of nutritionally
deficient food.
Acknowledgement: The authors appreciate the efforts
of Mr. Ayeni S.E. of the Agriculture and Industrial
Technology Department of Babcock University in the
proximate analysis of the samples.
Correspondence to:
Ezekiel C.N.
Department of Biosciences & Biotechnology,
Babcock University, PMB 21244, Ikeja, Nigeria.
E-mail: chaugez@gmail.com
Mobile phone: +234-703-8167130
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Date Submitted: 21st April, 2011.
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