chapter  12
30 Pages

Ethnic African Fermented Foods

ByN. A. Olasupo, S. A. Odunfa, O. S. Obayori

Traditional fermented foods (TFF) are an important part of the diet in Africa. Althoughthesehavebeeninexistenceforcenturies,scienti™cknowledgeaboutthem wasavailableonlyinthelatterpartofthetwentiethcentury.Thesefoodswereas importantcenturiesagoastheyaretoday.Someofthewell-knownonesincludegari,a cassava-basedproduct;ogi,acorn-basedproductfromNigeria;andmahewu,another corn-basedproductfromSouthAfrica.Muchofthedevelopmentsconcentratedon theprocessingtechnologyincludingthemachineryforproducingthem.Verylittle

12.1 Introduction .................................................................................................... 323 12.2History ............................................................................................................ 324 12.3Classi™cation .................................................................................................. 324 12.4Methods of Production ................................................................................... 326

12.4.1Fermented Nonalcoholic Cereal Products ......................................... 327 12.4.2Fermented Starchy Root Products ..................................................... 328 12.4.3Fermented Animal Proteins .............................................................. 330 12.4.4Fermented Vegetable Proteins ........................................................... 331 12.4.5Alcoholic Beverages .......................................................................... 334

12.5Microbiology .................................................................................................. 335 12.5.1Functional Microorganisms .............................................................. 335

12.5.1.1Fermented Nonalcoholic Cereal Substrates ....................... 335 12.5.1.2Starchy Root Crop Products .............................................. 336 12.5.1.3Microorganisms in Fermented Animal Proteins ............... 336 12.5.1.4Microorganisms Associated with Fermented African

Vegetable Proteins ............................................................. 337 12.5.1.5Alcoholic Beverages .......................................................... 338

12.5.2Safety and Improvement of Shelf Life .............................................. 338 12.5.3Natural Toxins and Anti-Nutritive Factors ........................................ 339 12.5.4Nutritional Properties ........................................................................340

12.6Market Potential ............................................................................................. 342 12.7Conclusion ...................................................................................................... 342 References ................................................................................................................ 343

was known about the microbiology or the chemistry of the processes. However, the last20yearshavewitnessedanexplosionofknowledgeinthescienceofTFF.Many conferencesandworkshopshavebeenorganizedonthemandimportant™ndings havebeenreported(HalmandJakobsen1996).Theimportanceoffermentedfoods intheAfricanfoodcultureisasfollows:theyprovidevarietyinthe•avorofexisting staplesbasicallycerealsandrootcrops,theyserveasacheapwayofpreservation, andtheyenhancethenutritionalqualityanddigestibilityoftherawfoodmaterials. Inaddition,somefoodsthatarenormallyinediblearemadeediblebyfermentation. Recentknowledgehasalsoshownthatsomeofthefoodproductshaveanticholesterolemiceffects(Dikeetal.2001),viricidaleffects(Gilbertetal.1983),andantitumor andantileukemiceffects(Esseretal.1983,Shabanietal.1983).Decreasedtoxicity hasalsobeenreportedforsomeproducts(Odunfa1985a,b).Someofthesefoods havebeenfoundtoprovideusefulprobioticeffectswhentheyaredirectlyconsumed (Mathara et al. 2008a,b).