In Cameroon, palm oil is extensively used in its crude form for food. The present study was carried out to access stakeholders’ perception of spoilage and the microbial quality of crude palm oil in the North-west Region of Cameroon. A random survey was carried out on 148 stakeholders of the crude palm oil marketing channel about their perception of crude palm oil spoilage. 79 samples were collected from different market sites in the region. Handlings of crude palm oil by the stakeholders were unhygienic and they had poor knowledge of the causes and reasons associated with its spoilage. The microbial contaminants isolated were Salmonella sp., Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, yeast, and Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus sulphureus and Aspergillus versicolor. The estimated overall bacterial load ranged from 17.14 × 104 to 36.41 ×104cfu/ml. The bacterial load of crude palm oil samples from each market was far above the minimum acceptable range stipulated by NAFDAC. There is need for these stakeholders to be educated on the health implications and risks associated with palm oil production and post-production handling.
Key words: Crude palm oil, spoilage, microbiological quality, Northwest Region of Cameroon.
CPO, Crude Palm oil; NAFDAC, Nigerian Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control; EMB Agar, Eosin Methylene blue Agar; NGO, Non-governmental organizations; E. coli, Escherichia coli; S. aureus, Staphilococcus aureus; A. niger, Aspergillus niger; A. sulphureus, Aspergillus sulphureus; A. versicolor, Aspergillus versicolor.
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