STUDIES ON PECTINOLYTIC AND MICROBIAL DIVERSITY PRESENT IN UNDERGROUND TUBERS (Carrot, Radish, Beetroot, Potato, and Yam) IN TAMILNADU.
In recent years many consumers have been demanding convenience and high quality vegetable products, for which they are willing to pay the premium. The self life of these vegetables is generally about 7-14 days at 5? C, being limited by endogenous, biochemical and physiological changes in the products, as well as the growth of spoilage microorganisms and Pectinolytic organisms, which are having constant threat with regarding the spoilage of vegetables mainly the under ground tubers because of their extensive host range and wide spread distribution. Hence the need to better understands of the microbial diversity responsible for the spoilage of vegetables. The main objective of the present study is to identify the Microbial diversity and Pectinolytic organisms present in the collected tuber samples from Coonor and Kodaikanal region. Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas, Campylobacter, E. coli and Bacillus sps were identified. The highest count of Pectinolytic bacteria recorded in Carrot and Yam is 2.6x108 cfu / g and 6.2x 108 cfu / g respectively in Coonor area. Most of the micrbes showed the Pectinolytic activity at Ph 6 and few exhibiting in pH 7 and pH 5.5. Tubers have high water activity, thin skin, soluble sugars, and other enormous micro nutrients which make them more vulnerable to microbial spoilage. It is therefore recommended that optimal conditions of hygiene, transportation and storage should be made, so that the product gets by the consumer at the best quality and free microbial induced spoilage.