|854-1||Quantitative variations in heterotrophic plate count and in the presence of indicator microorganisms in bottled mineral water|
|Autores:||Maria Fernanda Falcone Dias (FCFAR - UNESP - Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas - UNESP) ; Adalberto Farache Filho (FCFAR - UNESP - Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas - UNESP) |
The autochthonous bacteria remain low in terms of population while the mineral water is in its natural environment, but soon after bottling they begin to multiply rapidly, which may indicate changes in water quality. Because of this normal multiplication of autochthonous bacteria after bottling, the heterotrophic plate count (HPC) is not used as a quality parameter for bottled mineral water during marketing. However, members of some species of this group can cause diseases and it is also known that high levels of microbial growth can affect the taste and odor of drinking water. Quantitative variations in heterotrophic plate count (HPC) and in the presence of indicator microorganisms in 0.5, 1.5 and 20-L bottles of different brands of Brazilian mineral water were analyzed during their shelf life. No variations were identified in the presence of indicator microorganisms, but quantitative variations in HPC were observed in some brands, which suggests that changes may be occurring in the water quality during storage. This study objectived to evaluate the quality of the bottled mineral waters and the presence of enterococci and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were verified in six and two bottles, respectively, which is in disagreement with the microbiological quality criteria established in the current legislation. Although no limit is set for HPC in mineral water, this study relies on the limit of 500 colony-forming units per mL of sample (CFU/mL). Seventy-two bottles presented levels above 500 CFU/mL and up to 560,000 CFU/mL. This study showed that the control of HPC (< 500 CFU/mL) for non-returnable packaging seems to be adequate to ensure the quality of mineral water during storage. The high values of HPC and its variations detected during storage seem to fully justify the need for a reevaluation of the use of HPC in bottled mineral water quality management. More detailed studies on the potential health risk of HPC and its variations in mineral water are also needed.
Palavras-chave: Heterotrophic plate count, Mineral water, Water quality