Some locally available fruits garden egg, orange, banana, guava, avocado, pawpaw and pineapple.sold in Oye Emene Enugu, Enugu State was examined for parasitological contamination. A total of 87 samples were examined using sedimentation and concentration methods. 1112.6 of the 87 fruits were positive for intestinal parasites microscopically. Among these fruits, guava had the highest number of intestinal parasites which was 6 35.3 positive and the lowest was banana 28. Parasite implicated were ova of Ascaris lumbricoides 89.2, cysts of Amoeba 310, yeast cells were seen on pineapple and water melon. There is no significant difference between the two methods used. Results of the current study shows a significant level of fruits contamination with pathogenic parasite from different places in Oye Emene in Enugu, Enugu State suggesting existence of a great risk of acquiring intestinal parasites by eating improperly washed fruits.
Among horticultural crops, fruits are of great importance for an adequate and balance human diet. In certain part of the world, fruits are the major dietary staple. Apart from being a rich source of vitamins, and minerals, the production of fruits also contributes significantly to regional and national economics through national and international trade. The term fruit has many different meaning depending on the context.
A fruit is a ripened ovary together with seeds of a flowering plant. Fruits are the means through which flowering plants disseminate seeds Lewis, 2002.
In cuisine when food items are called fruits the term is most often used for those plants fruits that are edible, sweet, and fresh examples are: apples, and oranges.
Fruits are cultivated in areas where the environmental factors are suitable for their growth. Emene in Enugu state is considered one of the areas that have good cultivating land for great yield of fruits and this is done usually during rainy season or use of irrigation during dry season. Irrigation water is achieved by different sources like lake, stream, river, ponds etc. which may be polluted with animal and human feaces. Due to high number of eggs, cyst and larvae of human intestinal parasites present in the waste water, the use of excreta polluted water is a health risk to both the farmers and the consumers that eat the produce raw and fresh, like apples, guava, pear and mango Scolf, 1992.
Pollination is a vital part of fruit culture, and in few species, they may develop in the absence of pollination/fertilization, a process known as parthernocarpy such fruits are seedless Mauseth amp;James 2003. Many foods are botanically fruits, but are treated as vegetables in cooking and food preparations. Examples are: Tomatoes, eggplant, pumpkin and pears etc. Mcgee and Harold 2004. Ethylene causes ripening in fruits.
There are three types of fruits
1. Simple fruit
2. Aggregate fruit and
3. Multiple fruit
Simple fruit can be either dry or fresh, Example carrot, wheat, tomato, avocado, banana etc.Schelegel,2002.
The examples of an aggregate fruits are pineapple, bread fruit, etc. some fruits have coat covered with Spikes or hooked burrs, either to prevent themselves from being eaten by animals, using them as dispersal agent. eg. unicorn plant Heiser and Charles 2003.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1. To determine the parasite of medical importance in fruit sold at Orie Emene market in Enugu State.
2. To determine whether washing of fruits with untreated water eliminates the parasites of medical importance pathogenic parasites from them.
3. To determine whether fruits are safe to be eaten without washing them as some people do.
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