Studies on Traditional Cheese (Woagashie) Production in the Ashanti Region
Cheese production has been in existence for more than 4000 years as a way of preserving milk and also serve as a source of protein supply and food or meat substitute. In Ghana as in other Sub-Sahara African countries, traditional cheese termed 'Woagashie', is gradually gaining popularity. A study was thus carried out to obtain baseline information on the production and nutritional status of Woagashie in the Ashanti Region. The result showed that Woaghashie was produced and retailed by women. Major source of milk for production was from their own herds and the quality indicators for Woagashie are mainly colour, taste and smell. Sale of Woagashie was high (57%) and it was mainly packaged in polyethylene films. Patronage was mainly by illiterates due to the poor presentation and quality of the product. Woagashie was used mainly as a food substitute due to its nutritional benefits. With the exception of colour, both consumers and producers judged quality on the same basis. On the whole, shelf life of Woagashie was about a week or two depending on whether it is preserved by boiling or stored by refrigeration. Nutirtionally, Woagashie produced at UST using whole milk powder (UST I) had the highest moisture level (67.33%) with that produced at UST using fresh milk (UST II) having the least. However, it was the inverse for fat with UST II having the highest (36.80%) and UST I (17.49%) the least. For protein, the trend was as for the fat with UST II having the highest protein content (18.32 %). Ejura II had the highest ash content (1.80%) with Yeji having the lowest (1.39%). The study showed that Woagashie is a highly nutritious product which requires efficiency in production and effective storage.
JOURNAL OF THE GHANA SCIENCE ASSOCIATION Volume 1 Number 1, July (1998) pp. 96-104