Sensory diversity of fonio landraces from West Africa
AbstractThis study aims to establish if there is some sensory variability among fonio landraces. Fonio, the oldest indigenous and very tasty cereal growing in West Africa, is usually consumed as a couscous. Group interviews of consumers were conducted in Bamako, Mali to identify the main quality criteria of a cooked grain. Fonio grain must be swollen, not sticky with a soft consistency, pale and containing low impurities. Sensory properties of 20 fonio landraces from Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso were established using a descriptive sensory analysis. Five sensory descriptors were chosen among the quality criteria. Each landrace was tasted and scored in triplicate by a group of 18 trained panellists. Principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis were used. The 20 landraces clustered into four sensory classes. Sensory criteria of variability were first visual characteristics (colour and impurities) and then the consistency of cooked grains. Landraces from Guinea and Mali were variable for both visual and textural characteristics; those from Burkina Faso appeared to be more homo-genous. The sensory variability of fonio offers to processors, who intend to promote this tiny cereal both in the sub-region and beyond, the possibility to choose adapted landraces to develop new products.
Keywords: Digitaria exilis, fonio, landraces, cooked grain, sensory variability, Mali
African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(15), pp. 1836-1844