East African Journal of Sciences

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Traditional Fermented Dairy Products of Ethiopia: A Review

Tesfemariam Berhe, Finn Kvist Vogensen, Richard Ipsen, Eyassu Seifu, Mohammed Y. Kurtu, Egon Bech Hansen


Fermented foods play an important role in human nutrition and protecting against infectious diseases. Understanding the properties of traditionally fermented dairy products as well as a proper analysis of the indigenous processing steps are important in order to recommend appropriate
manufacturing protocol and procedures for commercialization. Little information is available on the general characteristics and processing practices of traditional dairy products of Ethiopia. Therefore, the
objective of this review was to critically assess and summarize information on indigenous fermented dairy products of the country. The traditional dairy products included in this review are ergo (spontaneously fermented milk), ititu (spontaneously fermented milk curd), kibe (traditional butter), neter kibe (ghee), dhanaan (Ethiopian fermented camel milk), ayib (Ethiopian cottage cheese), hazo (spiced fermented buttermilk), arera (defatted sour milk) and aguat (acid whey). The indigenous dairy products have good
nutritional and functional potential to scale up to commercial production. However, detailed investigation on the characterization of the products and standardization of the manufacturing steps should be undertaken. The huge potential of microbial biodiversity related with the long storage stability of the traditional dairy products especially dhanaan and ititu shows promising potential for development of technologically important indigenous starter cultures.

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