Consumer Attitudes, Market Potential and Microbiological Analysis of Kefir: Implication for Dairy Product Diversification in Ethiopia
This study was conducted to explore consumers’ attitudes and market potential for a fermented dairy product-kefir. It was also intended to produce experimental kefir and undertake nutritional, microbial, texture and viscosity analyses as well as sensory quality evaluation. In order to meet the objectives, a direct questionnaire survey involving 743 respondents from seven major cities in Ethiopia was performed. The results revealed that the respondents indicated very high interest in kefir and are willing to purchase in case of availability in the market suggesting existence of an opportunity for dairy processing industries in Ethiopia to introduce kefir to the market and meeting the increasing demand for diversified dairy products in urban areas. In an attempt to meet the second objective, experimental kefir was produced under laboratory scale at the Food Engineering Laboratory of Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University and then after the end product was analyzed for proximate chemical composition, microbes, texture and viscosity. Added to this, evaluation for sensory qualities by panelists selected from consumers group and people who are familiar with quality attributes of dairy products was performed. The results revealed that kefir can be processed with the existing technologies in the Ethiopian context and has good nutritional composition and the processing technology provided microbiologically non-hazardous end product.
Keywords: Consumer Attitudes; Dairy Diversification; Kefir; Market Potential; Microbiological Analysis
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