Ogiri’ is a locally fermented product from oil seeds such as melon seeds (Citrullus vulgaris). It is commonly used as condiments to enhance the flavour of the variety of foods. This study was aimed at determining the influence of different wrapping materials on microbial load, proximate composition, physicochemical and sensory properties of indigenous fermented melon seeds known as “ogiri-egusi”. Melon seeds obtained from the local market were dehulled, wrapped in banana leaf, boiled and mashed. The mashed ‘ogiri egusi’ was separately wrapped using aluminium foil, paper, banana leaf, transparent and black cellophane and allowed to ferment for five (5) days. Daily pH monitoring of the samples was carried out while microbiological analysis and proximate composition of the fermented products were determined using Standard Methods while Sensory evaluation was carried out using a 9-point Hedonic scale. The sample wrapped with banana leaf had the highest total heterotrophic bacterial count (THC) of 6.08 log10 CFU/g), total coliform count (CC) of 4.88 log10 CFU/g, total Staphylococcal count (TSC) of 5.07 log10 CFU/g) and total fungal count (TFC) of 3.75 log10 CFU/g). On the contrary, ogiri-egusi wrapped with aluminum foil had the lowest THC (5.84 log10 CFU/g), TCC (4.39 log10 CFU/g), TSC (4.83 log10 CFU/g), TLC (3.61 log10 CFU/g) and TFC (3.39 log10 CFU/g). Staphylococcus sp., Micrococcus sp., Bacillus sp. and Lactobacillus sp., Aspergillus niger, A. flavus, Fusarium sp., Saccharomyces sp., Penicillium sp. and Candida sp. were isolated from the samples wrapped with different materials. There was a slight increase in pH with an increase in fermentation time in all samples irrespective of the wrapping material. There were significant differences (P<0.005) in proximate composition and sensory scores of the samples wrapped with different materials. Ogiri-egusi wrapped with aluminium foil was most preferred based on sensory scores. Considering the results obtained from the microbial analysis, proximate composition and sensory properties of ogiri-egusi wrapped with different materials, aluminium foil is recommended as a wrapping material. This will enhance the microbial and aesthetic qualities of this locally fermented condiment product for improved utilization.
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