Microbiota of Tayohounta, a fermented baobab flavour food of Benin
The present work provides data on the microbial composition of Tayohounta, a product of natural fermentation of baobab seed kernels. Samples were collected from 3 different small scale producers from Benin at the end of the fermentation process. Microorganisms were enumerated and identified using phenotypic and molecular approaches. Tayohounta was also investigated using culture independent techniques, direct DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction - denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and cloning. Isolated microorganisms were tested for their functionality in baobab seed kernels fermentation. Total viable counts were around 9 log cfu/g representing mainly Bacillus spp., whereas lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (8 log cfu/g), yeasts and moulds represent a smaller part of the total flora in all Tayohounta samples. Sequencing of clones of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products of bacterial DNA directly extracted from Tayohounta revealed large differences between the products made by different producers. In all products, Bacillus licheniformis, B. pumilus, B. subtilis, B. thermoamylovorans and Lactobacillus fermentum were present. Other microorganisms (B. thuringiensis, Brevibacterium borstelensis, Enterococcus casseliflavus, E. durans, Lb. agilis, Pediococcus pentosaceus, Streptococcus equinus and Weissella confusa) were present occasionally. In experimental pure culture fermentations, B. subtilis showed little effect on pH, but degraded protein and caused a typical pungent smell typical of Tayohounta.
Key words: Adansonia digitata, natural fermentation, Bacillus spp., DGGE, genotyping, functionality.