Rich nutrition from the poorest - Cereal fermentations in Africa and Asia

M.J.R. Nout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

194 Citations (Scopus)


Cereal fermentations in Africa and Asia involve mainly the processing of maize, rice, sorghum and the millets. Lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus, Pediococcus), Enterobacter spp., yeasts (Candida, Debaryomyces, Endomycopsis, Hansenula, Pichia, Saccharomyces and Trichosporon spp.) and filamentous fungi (Amylomyces, Aspergillus, Mucor, and Rhizopus spp.) contribute to desirable modifications of taste, flavour, acidity, digestibility, and texture in non-alcoholic beverages (e.g., uji, and ben-saalga), porridges (e.g., mawè) and cooked gels (e.g., kenkey, idli, and mifen). In addition, alcoholic beverages (beers such as tchoukoutou and jnard; and spirits e.g. jiu) are obtained using malt, or using amylolytic mixed microbial starter cultures as generators of fermentable substrates. Wet processing, marketing of multi-purpose intermediate products, co-fermentation for texture and nutrition, and mixed culture fermentations as practiced in indigenous fermentation processes are of interest for industrial innovation and for better control of natural mixed culture fermentation systems. On the other hand, the nutritional properties of traditional cereal fermented products can be enhanced by increasing their nutrient and energy density, as well as by increasing their mineral status by combining mineral fortification and dephytinization
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-692
JournalFood Microbiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • lactic-acid bacteria
  • millet pennisetum-glaucum
  • maize dough fermentation
  • burkina-faso
  • ben-saalga
  • natural fermentation
  • process combinations
  • kenkey production
  • starter culture
  • energy density


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