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MICROBIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF DIRTY ICE

CREAM

CHAPTER 1
Introduction

Ice cream stands as one of the most popular desserts being consumed as of today. With overall sales of

ice cream in the United States averaging $10 billion annually since 2010 (Gaille, 2017), it is a colossal

industry of modern culture. Usually popular in hot climates, it serves as a way for one to help alleviate the

heat of the weather. Ice cream is made up of different dairy products such as milk, cream, and whip

cream; and a variety of flavorings such as vanilla (bean or extract), strawberry, chocolate, etc., and then

frozen (Kidz World, 2015). Believed to date back to the era of Tang Dynasty between 618 to 907 AD and

increased in popularity in 17th century Naples (Avey Tori, 2012). Many varieties are found around the

world and in the Philippines, the version of ice cream is known as sorbetes or dirty ice cream originally

made out of carabao’s milk but now it is replaced with cheaper milk to cut costs. During 2016, annual

revenues of ice cream reached up to $356 million (Statista, 2017). This does not include actual

Sorbetes is usually sold by street vendors with the use of colorfully painted wooden pushcarts

filled with ice and advertise themselves with a small bell. In these carts can hold different batches with

different flavors such as chocolate, keso (cheese), and ube (purple colored ice cream made up of taro).

Each scoop will cost only ten pesos in cone or in a plastic cup while it costs twenty pesos if it is an ice

cream sandwich in a bun.

With little to no quality assurance or licenses concerning the safety of street vended foods, an

everyday consumer can be harmed if a consumed product is unknowingly contaminated with pathogenic

bacteria. Different factors can cause contamination of harmful bacteria such as improper practices in

preparing the ice cream, unhygienic selling and distribution, and contaminated containers used. A study

by Orallo et al. (1999), found out that small-scale industries of sorbetes in Metro Manila had fecally

contaminated ice cream and even pathogenic bacteria (i.e. Staphylococcus aureus). This raises the

concern if the sorbetes vendors are selling potentially harmful food to the students.
This study was conducted to analyze potentially harmful bacteria that can be found within this so

called “dirty ice cream” sold within the university. Through this microbiological analysis, the researchers

will be able to determine the bacterial flora of the dirty ice cream, as well identify pathogenic bacteria that

may potentially cause harm to the consumer. Through this study, the researchers will be able to know

whether it is safe to eat sorbetes or dirty ice cream within the university or not.

Objectives of the study

•General Objective

This research aims to determine whether the following bacteria are present in dirty ice cream

samples: Listeria monocytogenes, Coagulase positive Staphylococci, and Escherichia coli collected

during weekdays.

This research aims to analyze the consistency of the bacterial flora in the samples obtained from

Monday to Friday.

The research aims to differentiate non-pathogenic bacteria from pathogenic bacteria (if present).

The researchers aim to determine the cause of contamination through analysis, if there is

pathogenic bacterial contamination. If it is caused by ice cream manufacturing, food handling, sanitation,

cross contamination or other factors.

The research aims to evaluate the safety of the dirty ice cream sold in the university.

The research aims to help ensure the safety of the Thomasian students consuming the dirty ice

cream.

•Specific Objectives

This study specifically sought to:


1. conduct tests which will demonstrate the presence of bacteria.

2. determine the factors which caused bacterial contamination.

Significance of the Study

This study will be a significant endeavor in informing the Thomasian community regarding the

bacterial analysis of the dirty ice cream or sorbetes. Sorbetes had been a popular snack among the

Thomasian community and Filipinos, in general. The study gives information that will provide awareness

to the students regarding the safety of the ice cream. The study can ensure the safety of the ice cream

which can be beneficial for both the consumer and the producer. On the other hand, if the study would be

positive for pathogenic bacteria, this study can serve notice. Thomasians will be aware of the risk, and the

food manufacturer and vendor will be informed as well, and may improve their product’s safety.

Conceptual Framework

Figure 1. Conceptual framework of the analysis

In this analysis, the following factors are to be considered: food cleanliness and hygiene, presence

of foodborne pathogens, demographic variables, and the food handling practices.

For the food cleanliness and hygiene, it includes the appearance of ice cream, the scoop, and the

containers used. Second, the presence of foodborne pathogens as the researches perform the tests in the

laboratory. While the demographic variables are the researchers themselves as the participants of this

study. Lastly, the food handling practices of the vendor (eg. use of gloves) and the participants.
Scope and Limitation

The study aims to determine and analyze the microorganisms found in a dirty ice cream. Through

this analysis, the researchers will be able to identify the bacterial contamination of the ice cream.

Emphasis will be made on discovery of pathogenic bacteria as this is an indication that the ice cream

could cause illness to the consumer. The sample will be gathered from Mang Tomas ice cream. Three

flavors of the sample will be tested every day for 5 days.

Definition of Terms

Bacteria. Bacteria are living things that have only one cell. Under a microscope, they look like balls, rods,

or spirals.

Catalase Test. The catalase test is primarily used to distinguish among Gram-positive cocci: members of

the genus Staphylococcus are catalase-positive, and members of the genera Streptococcus and

Enterococcus are catalase-negative.

Cross Contamination. A process by which bacteria or other microorganisms are unintentionally

transferred from one substance or object to another, with harmful effect.

Dirty Ice Cream. Another name for Filipino street vended ice cream. May originate from Filipino

mothers’ warning that street vended ice cream is dirty

Escherichia coli. Escherichia coli is a gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped, coliform

bacterium of the genus Escherichia that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded

organisms

Flora. This refers to the collective and other microorganisms in an ecosystem

Ice cream. A soft frozen food made with sweetened and flavored milk fat

Listeria monocytogenes. One of the species of pathogenic bacteria that causes the infection listeriosis.
Microbiological analysis. This refers to the use of biological, biochemical, molecular or chemical

methods for the detection, identification or enumeration of microorganisms in a material (e.g. food, drink,

environmental or clinical sample). It is often applied to disease causing and spoilage microorganisms.

Pathogenic. A bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that cause disease

Sorbetes. Filipino version of ice cream

Staphylococcus. A genus of Gram-positive bacteria. Under the microscope, they appear round, and form

in grape-like clusters

Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus is a gram-positive, round-shaped bacterium and is

frequently found in the nose, respiratory tract, and on the skin.


CHAPTER 2
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