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African Journal of Biotechnology

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Traditional fermented protein condiments in Nigeria

OK Achi

Abstract


Traditional fermented condiments (dawadawa, iru, ogiri) based on vegetable proteins, and consumed by different ethnic groups in Nigeria have been the pride of culinary traditions for centuries. It is evident that these products have played a major role in the food habits of communities in the rural regions serving not only as a nutritious non-meat proteins substitute but also as condiments and flavouring agents in soups. These condiments are being increasingly marketed throughout the country and beyond in informal ways. Differences in the chemical composition of fermented condiments are evident mainly because different ingredients have been used in their preparation. Traditional methods of manufacture should take advantage of biotechnological progress to assure reasonable quality and at
the same time assure safety of these products. The requirements for a sustainable biotechnological development of Nigerian condiments are discussed in the scope of the microbiology and biochemical changes of the raw materials. Schemes to standardize the manufacturing stages are proposed. Emphasis is placed on the relevance of the role of starter cultures in the traditional methods of manufacture to ascertain appropriate nutritional quality and physical properties of the final product.
Fermented vegetable proteins have potential food uses as protein supplements and as functional ingredients in fabricated foods. Relevant research and development activities are suggested.



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