The quantitative changes in micro flora in steeped and cured baby corn during storage were studied. Baby corn cobs blanched and unblanched were steeped in different solutions with varying concentrations of sodium chloride (2 to 8%) and acetic acid (0.5, 0.75 and 1.0%). Sodium chloride at 5, 10, 15 and 20% was used for curing (dry salting) of both blanched and unblanched cobs. During steeping preservation, higher total plate count (7.0 x 102 to 9.9 x 101 CFU/g) was found with lower salt (2 - 5%) and acid (0.5%) concentrations. Significant (P ≤ 0.05) decrease in total plate count was found in samples of baby corn steeped in solutions containing higher concentrations of salt (6 - 8%) and acid (0.75 to 1.0%). Curing of blanched baby corn with 15% salt showed longer shelf life (45 days). However curing process of baby corn was found to be short-term preservation method. Practical applications: The sanitary quality of steeped and cured baby corn was ascertained by enumeration of micro flora in halophilic (2 to 8% sodium chloride) and acidic conditions (0.5, 0.75 and 1.0% acetic acid) during storage. This study illustrated the type of micro flora that grows in steeped baby corn at different concentrations of steeping solutions of sodium chloride (2 to 8%) and acetic acid (0.5, 0.75 and 1.0%). It also showed that baby corn steeped in solutions containing higher concentrations of salt (6 - 8%) and acid (0.75 to 1.0%) had lower total plate count and at lower concentrations of salt (2 - 5%) and acid (0.5%) had higher total plate count. Curing of blanched baby corn with 15% salt showed longer shelf life (45 days). If we use beyond 15% concentration of salt, product goes mushy.
Key words: Baby corn, steeping, curing, sodium chloride, acetic acid, microbiological assay.
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