Fermentation of maize (Zea mays L.) meal or mawe production in Benin : physical, chemical and microbiological aspects

D.J. Hounhouigan

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Mawè is a sour dough made from partially dehulled maize meal, which has undergone natural fermentation for 1 to 3 days.

In this thesis, the processing methods, the characteristics of the products and the physical, chemical and microbiological changes during natural fermentation of two differently processed mawè (home and commercial processes) from Bénin were investigated.

The main difference between both processes is the removal of more hulls and germs from the commercial mawè. The latter was whiter than the home-produced mawè and had better swelling and thickening characteristics, but the nutrient loss was higher. This study showed that the physico-chemical changes occurring in the fermenting product depend on the processing method used.

Dominant microflora in mawè included obligately heterofermentative lactobacilli: L. fermentum and its biotype cellobiosus, L. brevis, and yeasts: C . krusei and S.cerevisiae. Ability of these organisms to ferment dehulled maize porridge was also tested and showed that fermentation can be carried out using a single starter culture of the Lactobacilli. The utility of the yeasts was not evident as far as their effect on acid production was concerned.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Rombouts, F.M, Promotor, External person
  • Nout, M.J.R., Promotor
Award date15 Mar 1994
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789054852070
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • fermentation
  • food biotechnology
  • maize starch
  • lactobacillus
  • lactic acid bacteria
  • benin


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