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Microbiota and Physicochemical Analysis on Traditional Kocho Fermentation Enhancer to Reduce Losses (Gammaa) in the Highlands of Ethiopia

  • Received : 2018.01.22
  • Accepted : 2018.07.09
  • Published : 2018.09.28

Abstract

Warqe (Ensete ventricosum) has been traditionally fermented in an earthen pit to yield a carbohydrate-rich food product named kocho, for generations. A fermentation enhancer (gammaa) was added to this fermenting mass to enhance the fermentation process. The objectives of this study were to assess the physicochemical properties and microbiota of the kocho fermentation enhancer culture to reduce losses. Cross-sectional study design was implemented to collect 131 gammaa samples on the first day of fermentation. The samples were further classified into four groups according to the duration of fermentation (14, 21, 30, and 60 days) practised in various households traditionally. The results showed that the fermentation time significantly affected the physicochemical properties and microbial load of gammaa (p < 0.01). As the fermentation progressed from day 1 to 60, the pH decreased and the titratable acidity increased. The total coliform, Enterobacteriaceae, aerobicmesophilic bacteria (AMB), yeast, and mould counts were significantly reduced at the end of fermentation. In contrast, the number of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) increased significantly until day 30 of fermentation, because of the ability of the LAB to grow at low pH. Lactobacillus species from LAB isolates and Enter obacteriaceae from AMB isolates were the most abundant microorganisms in gammaa fermentation. However, the Enterobacteriaceae and Lactobacilli species count showed decreasing and increasing trends, respectively, as the fermentation progressed. These isolates must be investigated further to identify the species and strain, so as to develop gammaa at the commercial scale.

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