Assessment of Biochemical Changes during Fermentation Process for Production of Traditional Fermented Cassava Meal “Mchuchume

Severino Alphonce, Lilian Daniel Kaale


“Mchuchume” is a ready to eat fermented cassava food whose production is accomplished by a consortium of microorganisms, some of which may be probiotic in nature and others pathogens to humans and of no use in the fermenting system. This work made characterization of biochemical changes evolved at different times in local (open) and biotechnological (closed) fermentation methods. The study also assessed organoleptic properties of final products. Acidification was observed in the retting water as pH ranged from 6.32 to 4.25 and titratable acidity from 0.02% to 0.32%. A decrease in total reducing sugars (6.59 to 4.03 mg/g) in fermenting pulp and an increase in total soluble solids (0.4 to 3.2°B) in retting water were observed. Cyanide detoxification occurred by decreasing cyanogenic potential from 72.72 to 5.18 mg/kg, while products organoleptic characters from two fermentation methods were not statistically different except for the case of aroma. Aseptic retting of cassava tubers using closed fermentation utilizing Lactobacillus delbrueckii starter cultures produces “mchuchume” which is safe from cyanide, dusts and microbiological contaminants at reduced processing time.

Keywords: Cassava; mchuchume; fermentation methods; biochemical changes

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