Yogurt samples purchased from a dairy industry, retail outlets, and hawkers in Lagos, Nigeria, were plated on potato dextrose agar containing 100 μg of chloramphenicol/ml and found to contain Candida lusitaniae, C krusei, C rugosa, Kluveromyces fragilis, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the primary yeast contaminants. Sixty-seven percent of the samples had yeast counts in the range of 104–106 cfu/ml. C. lusitaniae, K. fragilis and C. krusei had the highest counts and occurrence of 65, 48 and 51%, respectively, in 100 random yogurt samples. C. lusitaniae attained the highest count in yogurts stored at 10°C and C. krusei in those at 30°C.
Ninety percent of the samples had less than 10 coliforms or staphylococci per ml, whereas 20% had over 103 psychrotrophic bacteria per ml. Molds of Aspergillus sp. and Neurospora sp. were isolated mainly from the strawberry-fluid yogurt. The starter cultures, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, were present in the ratio of 1:1 and reached maximum growth levels of 107 to 108 cfu/ml after 4 to 8 d of storage at 10°C, whereas the yeast continued to increase beyond this level by the 12th day. The extent of contamination observed suggests high initial contamination level and improper refrigeration of yogurts marketed.
1Present address: Department of Biological Sciences, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
2Present address: Department of Pathology, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.