• Fermentation;
  • Parkia filicoidea Welw.;
  • African locust bean;
  • dawadawa


African locust beans (Parkia filicoidea Welw.) were processed and fermented to the traditional West African condiment dawadawa. The beans were transformed to ‘processed substrate’ by boiling and dehulling, and then fermented at 37°C in static fermenter units. The overall mass balance and the mass balances of several bean components (moisture, fat, protein, ash and carbohydrate) were studied. It was found that 1.0 kg of raw beans (6.4% moisture) yielded 1.3 kg of processed substrate (63% moisture) which in turn was converted to 1.2 kg of dawadawa (65% moisture). The loss of bean solids during processing was due to the removal of adhering pulp and testa as well as to solids extraction during boiling and washing. Overall, 57% of the bean dry weight, 85% of the carbohydrate, 48% of the ash, 40% of the protein and 1% of the fat were lost in the conversion of raw beans to dawadawa. The dawadawa had considerably higher fat and protein contents than the raw beans and was a pleasant tasting food whereas the raw beans were inedible. Some microbiological aspects of the fermentation were also investigated. Normally prepared fermentation substrate was compared with both sterilised and radappertised beans in terms of conversion to dawadawa, number of colony forming units present, and the development of pH and titratable acidity. The presence of microorganisms was found to be obligatory for the conversion to proceed. Simultaneous increases in both pH and titratable acidity were observed during the fermentation.