Safety and Quality Aspects of Bongo, a Traditional Fermented Milk Product from Lyantonde District
Ssendagala, George William
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Bongo is a traditional fermented drink made from either pasteurized or unpasteurized milk. Although it is primarily consumed among cattle rearing communities in Uganda, its consumption is spreading to other communities as well. This study was carried out to determine the safety and quality of Bongo in Lyantonde district. Traditionally processed Bongo (n=31) was analyzed for microbial quality (total coliforms, yeast and mold counts, and lactic acid bacteria), physio-chemical properties (dry matter, ash, total soluble solids, pH, titratable acidity, fat, proteins, carbohydrates and milk solids not fat). The hygienic practices of Bongo processors (n=15) were also evaluated by observing the production and retailing premises using a checklist. All processors’ premises and practices did not conform to the recommended practices. The total coliform, fungal and lactic acid bacteria counts were in ranges of 0.0 – 1.2x103 cfu/mL, 0.0 – 6.1x106 cfu/mL, and 0.0-2.7x108 cfu/mL, respectively. Dry matter, ash, total soluble solids, pH titratable acidity, fat, protein, carbohydrates and milk solids not fat were 0.75-14.29%, 0.61- 0.83%, 6.0-9.0 °Brix, 3.79-4.36, 0.76-1.30%, 3.46 - 2.91%, 3.16-3.23%, 3.38-4.65%, and 7.41-8.50%, respectively. The high values of total coliforms indicated a safety threat to consumers. The high yeast and mold counts are suggestive of limited shelf life resulting from fungal spoilage of the product. It is therefore important to standardize the processing and hygiene practices of Bongo in order to ensure safety and product stability.