MICROBIAL ANALYSIS OF FOOD WASTE COMPOSTING

AUTHOR: EZENNIA, OBIOMA JENNIFER 

DEPARTMENT: APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY AND BREWING

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

Food waste is any by-product or waste product from the production, processing, transportation, distribution and consumption of food. It has a high moisture and organic matter content, which makes it easily decomposed by microbes. Most of micro-organisms found include basically species of the mesophilic bacteria (Bacillus, Micrococcus, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Acetobacter, Beijiernckia, and Alcaligenes) and fungi (Aspergillus, Trichoderma, Penicillium, Mucor, Rhizopus, Gliocladium, Bertholletia, and Cunninghanella). They were able to transform organic raw materials into manure. The pH values of the compost pit varied from an initial acidic value of 6.0 to a final alkali value of 7.5. The temperature of the compost pit varied between 29 – 450C during the composting process which encouraged mesophilic microbes and hence microbial diversity was maximized. There was a sharp increase in moisture content from 40% and later decreased to 33.5%. This was as a result of metabolic water formation. Also, from the analysis carried out food waste was discovered to have high nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus content of 2.1%, 1.9mg/kg and 2.5mg/kg respectively and as such a promising feed for manure.

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