African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5232

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of ambient storage on the microbial characteristics of traditional dried anchovies (Encrasicholina punctifer)

  Ismail M. Al Bulushi1*, Nejib Guizani1 and Gary A. Dykes2
  1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences,Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 34, Al-Khod-123, Oman. 2School of Science, Monash University, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia.      
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 July 2013
  •  Published: 12 July 2013



The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of traditional dried anchovies by characterizing their microbial flora. Dried anchovies were stored at ambient temperature for three months and total aerobic bacterial (TAB), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacteriaceae, histidine decarboxylating bacterial (HDB), lysine decarboxylating bacterial (LDB) and ornithine decarboxylating bacterial (ODB) counts were determined. Dried anchovies had an initially load of log 4.58, log 3.8, < log 1, < log 1, log 4.03 and log 3.7 cfu/g for TAB, S. aureus, Enterobacteriaceae, HDB, LDB and ODB, respectively. During ambient storage, the bacteria load did not change significantly (p> 0.05). In total, 184 bacterial isolates representing 15 genera and 18 species were isolated and identified. A high diversity of pathogens and non-pathogens were found. Acinetobacter lwoffiidominated the flora (22%) followed by S. aureus (19%), Moraxella spp. (13%) andEnterobacter cloacae (10%). Ornithine decarboxylating bacteria were the most frequently isolated of the amino acid decarboxylating bacteria (18%) followed by LDB (15%) and HDB (13%). All bacterial species and groups listed were found throughout the storage period. This study showed that anchovies were heavily contaminated with pathogens not traditionally associated with foodborne disease which represent a risk factor for the safety of dried anchovies.


Key words: Ambient storage, decarboxylating bacteria, dried anchovies.


Abbreviations: TAB, Total aerobic bacterial; HDB, histidine  decarboxylating bacterial;LDB, lysine  decarboxylating bacterial; ODB, ornithine  decarboxylating bacterial; TAL,thin agar layers; TSA, tryptone soya agar.