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Keywords:

  • Agbelima;
  • chickwanghe;
  • cyanogenic glucosides;
  • food fermentation;
  • fufu;
  • gari;
  • lafun;
  • roots and tubers;
  • solid state fermentation;
  • submerged fermentation

Summary

Tropical root and tuber crops [cassava, sweet potato, yams, colocasia (taro), etc] are important staples for food security for about a fifth of the world population. Bulk of cassava in Africa and Latin America are processed into fermented foods and food additives such as organic (acetic, citric and lactic) acids, mono-sodium glutamate, etc. The fermented foods from cassava are gari, fufu, lafun, chickwanghe, agbelima, attieke and kivunde in Africa, tape in Asia and ‘cheesebread, and ‘coated peanut’ in Latin America. Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts are the major group of micro-organisms associated with cassava fermentation. Similarly, sweet potatoes can be fermented into soy sauce, vinegar, lacto-juices, lacto-pickles and sochu (an alcoholic drink produced in Japan), and yams into fermented flour. Most of these fermented food products are functional foods rich in phytochemicals, dietary fibres, anti-oxidant compounds (β-carotene, anthocyanin, etc) and probiotic components (lactic acid bacteria and yeasts).