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Research Article Open Access
Spices are commonly used in most Nigerian dishes as flavour and colour enhancer, nutrient supplements or to serve as preservatives, medicine and as part of cultural inclinations. They are naturally of plant parts and in recent times, certain synthetic creations of flavorists have found use in food as flavour and colour enhancers. The upsurge in quest for dishes of other cultures, and for food containing plant products deemed to have antioxidant properties have resulted in large import of different spices into the Nigerian market. This study was conducted to determine the microbial profile, antibacterial and antioxidant activities of some imported spices in Nigerian market. Fifteen each, of five different brands of imported spices packaged in polyethylene containers were purchased from supermarkets in different regions of Nigeria. The mean (cfu/g) total aerobic plate counts in the samples range from 1.8 x103 to 7.0x104, Coliform count was 1.1x102 to 4.1x103 and mean fungi count was 1.0x101 to 2.9x103. Microorganisms isolated from some of the spices include spp of Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Proteus, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, Aspergillus, Rhizopus and Fusarium. Some of the spices had antimicrobial effects on the clinical isolates tested with MIC ranging from 6.25 to 25.0 mg/ml. The spices contain Phenolics and flavonoids and have DPPH, Hydrogen peroxide and Nitric oxide scavenging activities. Adequate HACCP evaluation and GMP in the processing of spices is advanced, further studies are necessary to harness the full antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of these spices for therapeutic purposes.
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Author(s): Oranusi S Nwachukwu C Adekeye B Temitope Dahunsi O Samuel and Adeyemi A Oladipupo