Farida Bekhouche, Ryma Merabti and Jean-Denis Bailly
Couscous “Lemzeiet” was made from fermented wheat using a traditional process specific to the region of Constantine (North East of Algeria). This study involved the valorisation of traditional fermentation techniques of wheat in an underground silo called “Matmor” and manufacture of couscous “Lemzeiet”. The first part of this study consisted in a survey conducted in the city of Constantine. The 229 participants were from the east of Algeria: Constantine (191), Sigus (22) and Mila (16). The age of the individuals ranged between 20 and 87 years. Thirty-six of them were represented by men, who practice the fermentation of wheat naturally in the “Matmor”. Fifty-eight were represented by women who manufacture the couscous “Lemzeiet” by a process which we have reproduced experimentally in order to assess the technological and nutritional quality of couscous. It involved the use of a mixture of fine semolina (“dkak”) of fermented wheat (70%) and white couscous (30%) for forming the grains, a mixture of eggs (50 %) and “smen” (50%) for the finishing step, and a series of sieves with openings of 410 -2532 μm, for calibration and sieving the couscous. The experimentally manufactured couscous “Lemzeiet” was composed (%) of three different granulometric sizes fractions (μm) as follows: [1523-2532]: 50, 11%;] 1140-1523]: 29, 80%;] 899-1140]: 20, 51%. The grains were homogeneous with a good aggregation, rounded and smooth and not sticky after steaming. The analysis of the chemical composition showed significant changes in lipid, proteins and ash of manufactured couscous “Lemzeiet”.
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