Adansonia digitata L. (baobab) is a key economic tree used daily by local populations in Africa for food and medicines purposes. Processing its food products was investigated in Benin in a survey among 253 food processors (223 women, 30 men) belonging to 15 ethnic groups, using structured questionnaires. The study aimed at investigating ethno-food knowledge related to processing of baobab parts in Benin. Descriptive statistics and correspondence analysis (CA) were used to distinguish sociocultural groups and food parameters and to link socio-cultural groups according to local perception of various parameters. The importance of processed food products from baobab parts was evaluated by ranking. The following food categories were identified: dough, gruel, drinks (from baobab pulp); sauces (from baobab leaves, seeds and kernels); snacks (from baobab pulp and seeds) and flavouring agents (from baobab kernels). Some of the recorded foods were fermented (spontaneous fermentation). Leaf and pulp-derived products are predominant, being mentioned by 27.5 and 27.2% of consumers, respectively. Correspondence analysis showed that the food use of baobab parts (leaves, pulp, seeds and kernels) varies among ethnic groups. In addition, most ethnic groups have similar opinions about the difficulty of certain processing operations, in particular seed decortication, grinding and sieving operations for product recovery. Storage and preservation problems were mentioned for kernels and pulp. The results allow us to identify and categorize various difficulties in baobab food processing as perceived by local populations and to define strategies to solve these problems that at present limit the economic and nutritional potential of these products.
|Title of host publication||International Conference on Human Ecology, Book of abstracts, June 29th to July 3rd 2009, Manchester UK|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
|Event||International Conference on Human Ecology - |
Duration: 29 Jun 2009 → 3 Jul 2009
|Conference||International Conference on Human Ecology|
|Period||29/06/09 → 3/07/09|