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Microbial Quality of Mung Bean (Vigna Radiata, L. Wilczek)

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INTRODUCTION Mung bean (Vigna radiata L. Wilczek) sprouts can be considered one of the most common vegetables consumed in the Philippines due to availability and nutritional value (Del Rosario, 2003 and FNRI, 1997). One cup of raw mung bean sprouts contains 48 calories, 6.5 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, and 5.6 grams of carbohydrate. One cup of cooked bean sprouts contains 48 calories, 6.6 grams of protein, 1.8 grams of fat, and 4.6 grams of carbohydrate. In addition, sprouts are a good source of minerals and vitamins, particularly vitamins B1, B2, and C (http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/horticulture). Mung bean sprouts are low in calories and exceptionally high in potassium. A nutritious sprouted mung bean offers the same amount of vitamin A as a lemon, the niacin of a banana, the thiamine of an avocado, the riboflavin of a dried apple, the carbohydrate content of a melon and the ascorbic acid of a loganberry (http://www.specialtyproduce.com). The sprouting process encourages the rapid growth of microorganisms that reach very high numbers in the finished product (Fu et al., 2000). Seed sprouting provides an excellent environment for the growth of many types of organisms. The release of nutrients from the sprouting seeds, the moisture resulting from the irrigation process, the aerobic conditions, pH and temperatures favorable to mesophiles all contribute to the rapid expansion of microbial population, including food pathogens, during sprouting. Population as high as 109 CFU/g have been reported in sprouts obtained from retail stores (Patterson et al, 1980, Prokopowich et al, 1991). Many published studies have shown that pathogenic bacteria not only survive but can also grow on sprouts under favorable conditions (Portnoy et al., 1976, Harris et al., 1986, Steinbruegge et al., 1988, Abdoul-Raouf et al., 1993, and Farber et al., 1998). The seeds are generally…...

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