O. O. Agarry, I. Nkama and O. Akoma
The dominant lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillius plantarum, L. fermentum and Lactococcus lactis) isolated from fermenting Kunun-zaki were characterized, developed and used as starter culture for the controlled production of Kunun-zaki. The Kunun-zaki produced in this study (millet, millet+wheat, millet+malted rice, millet+wheat+malted rice, millet+malted rice+starter culture, millet+wheat+malted rice+starter culture) were evaluated for its pH, titratable acidity (% lactic acid), proximate, mineral and sensory quality attributes. There was a steady drop in pH with corresponding increases in titratable acidity showing strong correlation (r) throughout the fermentation period in all the samples. Generally, the crude protein content (%) of all the products was low (1.02-1.14). However, the Kunun-zaki produced using the combination of millet+wheat+malted rice showed a higher iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium content and was significantly different (p<0.05) from the rest products. Furthermore, the Kunun-zaki produced with the addition of starter culture to either millet+malted rice or millet+wheat+malted rice was generally preferred in taste, aroma, appearance and overall acceptability and differed (p<0.05) from the other products. This study has shown that use of starter culture in the production of Kunun-zaki has affected the sensory and nutritional qualities of the product positively. Therefore, large-scale production of this popular indigenous cereal beverage could be possible.
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