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Sent: 07 July 2004 14:29
Subject: 52: Re: Traditional fermentation in developing countries // GE microorganisms
This is Olayinka Edema, Nigeria, again.
I wish to comment on message 40 (July 1) by Sylvia Uzochukwu on palm wine and gari.
I disagree with the statements that "Gari is not a fermented food. Fermentation in gari is optional". Gari is a fermented food. The product is not gari if it is not fermented. The moderator's comment after message 3 (June 17) which she referred to explained as much: "The duration of fermentation varies depending on consumer preference for sour taste. The COSCA study found that commercial gari processors in Nigeria ferment cassava for different lengths of time depending on the market". The fermentation time ranges from 1 day to 7 days. The Eastern market in Nigeria prefers a shorter fermentation time while the Western market prefers a longer fermentation time. [The quotation provided at the end of Message 3 was from the article entitled "The cassava transformation in Africa" by Felix I. Nweke, from the proceedings of the Global Cassava Development Strategy Validation Forum (http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/agpc/gcds/publications/gcdsvol.2.doc), held at FAO Headquarters, Rome on 26-28 April 2000...Moderator].
This leads to the issue of variable quality of African fermented foods. Sometimes what is referred to as variability in quality is actually individual preference. Application of biotechnology to the processing of a product such as gari may require that two standard processes be designed, one for sour and the other for non-sour gari since it is difficult to get both properties in one intermediate product.
Regarding the starter for palm wine, the dregs used as starter contains more than Sacharomyces cerevisiae and Leuconostoc dextranicum and the product obtained with the use of these two organisms alone is close to, but not exactly, palm wine.
I am all for new product development and strongly believe that biotechnological development in developing countries should target diversification into new value-added products, such as described from palm sap in message 41 (July 1, Sylvia Uzochukwu), which can be commercialized (section 3.5 of background document).
Dr. Olayinka Edema
College of Natural Sciences,
University of Agriculture,
moedemao (at) yahoo.co.uk