MICROBIOLOGICAL EXAMINATION OF DECAYING VEGETABLE (PUMPKIN LEAVES) SOLD AT AFIA NINE OBIAGU, ENUGU.
Microbiological Examination of decaying vegetable (pumpkin leave) sold at Afia Nine in Obiagu, Enugu was carried out to obtain the caused organisms, and were examined by culturing them on nutrient agar, MacConkey agar and sabourand dextrose agar for bacteria and fungi organisms that are causing decaying of vegetable (pumpkin leave). Three (3) bacteria and three (3) fungi were isolated. The bacteria include Erwinia carotovora, Pseudomonas solanceatun and Corynebacteria spedonicum while fungi isolated include Aspergilus flavus, Rhizopus and Fusarium graminearum. This project work shows that decaying vegetable (pumpkin leave) were contaminated with pathogenic micro-organisms.
Pumpkin leaves, fruits and flowers are all protective health giving foods. They contain vitamins and minerals that the body needs to stay healthy. The dark green pumpkin leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A. The body needs vitamin A for proper growth, health eyes and protection from disease. The pumpkin leaves are also a good source of calcium, vitamin C, Iron and protein. Calcium helps to make strong bones and teeth. Vitamin C keeps the body tissue. Iron helps in keeping the body healthy and the body also needs protein to grow and stay healthy. Pumpkin leaves have much more of vitamin A and Vitamin C. pumpkin flowers can also be eaten for it contains more of vitamin A source. The most nutrients of all pumpkin foods are the leaves. They are an excellent source of vitamin A and also vitamin B (Thiamin) and niacin. Vitamin B and niacin helps the body convert carbohydrate into energy and heat (Anee, 2001).
Pumpkins are use for food. The tender leaves and stems, flowers, fruits and seed of pumpkin can all be eaten. Pumpkin leaves can be stored up to six months but can be achieved when they are not touching each other. It is being preserved by drying or freezing. Drying pumpkin must be done carefully in order to kill all their microorganism that would make it spoils. It needs to be dried in hot sun so that it dries quickly before if spoils. Pumpkin leaves also contain a great amount of vitamin A that is vital for a proper growth, healthy eyes and protection form disease. More ever, pumpkin leaves are great source of calcium and they can be prepared in many ways. First of all, leaves should be washed every time before cooking and placed in boiling water (Roberts et al, 2006).
A pumpkin is a gourd like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae which also include gourds. It commonly refers to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cueurbita mitta, Cucurbita mayima and is native to North America. They typically have a thick, orange or yellow shell, creased from the stem to the bottom, containing the seeds and pulp. A pumpkin leaves is an important food for many people. It is a very vulnerable because most parts of the plant can be eaten and are rich in nutrients. Pumpkin is easy to grow and one plant in garden can supply pumpkins and green leaves throughout the year. They grow all round the world for a variety of reasons (George et al, 2008).
Pumpkin belongs to the family with scientific name Cucurbitaceae. They do not need much cooking after once they are planted. They can be grown throughout the pacific even on a toll. Pumpkin plants grow easily from ether the leaves or cutting roots. There are many different varieties of pumpkin which differ in flavour, texture, colour and storing quality. Pumpkin grow beat in loose and rich soil. The site of an old nebbish heap is good place or site for growing pumpkins. Brushing the flowers gently with a feather or brush will help to produce more pumpkin (Susan et al, 1998).
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Sussan (1998) explain that bacteria and fungi are associated with the decaying of pumpkin leaves.
This statement now prompted the need of this project work.
1.2 AIM OF STUDY
To ascertain the microbial load that cause decaying in pumpkin leaves
To examine decaying pumpkin leaves
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The importance of this project work is to examine the microbial or microbes that are associated with decaying of pumpkin leaves and method of preserving the pumpkin leaves from decaying.
1.4 LIMITATION OF STUDY
This project topic is limited to assay bacterial associated with the micro-biological examination of decaying vegetable pumpkin leaves during storage of which the following problem are faced, handicap, time factors, transportation barrier, unconducive laboratory and contamination which could result from laboratory opening such as windows that are always and constantly left unclosed.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon which is Greek for “Large melon”. The French adapted this word to Pompon, which the British changed to Pumpion and later, American colonists changed that to the word we use today, “pumpkin”. The origin of pumpkins is not definitively known, although they are thought to have originated in North America. The oldest evidence, pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500BC were found in Mexico. Pumpkin are squash like fruit that range in size from less than 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) to over 1,000 pounds (450 kilogram). Since some pumpkins, the names are frequently used interchangeably. In general, pumpkin stems are more rigid, prickly, and angular (with an approximate five-degree angle) than squash stems which are generally softer, more rounded, and more flared where joined to the fruits (Jerry, 2009).
Pumpkin leaves are monecious, having both male and female flowers on the same plant. The female flower is distinguished by the small ovary at the base of the petals. These bright and colourful flowers have extremely short life spans and may only open for as short a time as one day. The colour of pumpkin is derived from the orange pigments abundant in them. The main nutrients are lutein and both alpha and beta carotene, the latter of which generates vitamin A in the body (Anee, 2001).
2.2 ECOLOGY OF PUMPKIN LEAVES