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Microbial succession and variation of physico-chemical and antioxidant properties during spontaneous fermentation of Mutchayan, a traditional fermented baobab derived food
1, 2 , * 1, 2 , 1, 2 , 2 , 2
1  Laboratoire de Sciences et Technologie des Aliments et Bioressources et de Nutrition Humaine, Université Nationale d’Agriculture (LaSTAB-NH/UNA), Centre universitaire de Sakété, Sakété, Bénin
2  Laboratoire de Sciences des Aliments, Ecole de Nutrition et des Sciences et Technologies des Aliments, Faculté des Sciences Agronomiques, Université d’Abomey-Calavi (LSA/ENSTA/FSA/UAC), Cotonou, Bénin
Academic Editor: Antonello Paparella


Mutchayan is a traditionally fermented cooked dough consumed in northern Benin, derived from cereals (maize, millet or sorghum) flour and baobab fruit pulp, with potential health benefits. The present study aims to evaluate the physico-chemical, microbiological and nutritional changes of the mixed cooked sorghum dough and baobab pulp nectar, during the fermentation process. Mutchayan was then produced according to the traditional technology and samples were collected during the fermentation at 0, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96 and 120 hours. These samples were assessed through determinations of pH, titratable acidity, dry matter content and Brix value, total viable count, lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and molds, enterobacteriaceae, antioxidant capacity and vitamin C. Analysis of the fermentation process revealed on one hand a significant increase of lactic acid from 5.73±0.09 to 6.76±0.07 g/100g dw, of antioxidant capacity from 657.14±1.19 to 798.17±23.2 VCEAC mg/100g dw between 24 h and 120 h fermentation time, and on the other hand a significant decrease of vitamin C from 91.68±1.13 to 69.76±3.97 mg/100 dw between 0 and 24 h, of dry matter content from 18.68±0.09 to 16.72±0.05 g/100g and of Brix value from 7.28±0.32 to 5.1±0.42 °Brix (between 0 and 120 h), while no significant change was observed for the pH. Microbiological analysis revealed the presence of molds at the beginning of the fermentation, which growth was inhibited after 36 h, while the LAB and yeasts load increased. Yeasts and lactic acid bacteria were more and more detected from 24 to 120 h, being the predominant microorganisms of the fermentation process at the levels of 6-8 log10 cfu/g. The identification of Mutchayan microbial ecology will contribute to understand their probiotic activities leading to the increase of antioxidant capacity and the control of undesirable microorganisms.

Keywords: lactic acid bacteria; fermentation; yeast; sourdough; ascorbic acid; sorghum