keywords: Co-fermentation, fortification, pearl millet, Treculia africana, food safety, biocompatibility
This study conducted the co-fermentation of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L. R. Br.) and African breadfruit (Treculia africana Decne) seeds for the production of nutritionally improved kunnu (tentatively called kunnu-ukwa). Appropriate technologies were used to process pearl millet and African breadfruit seeds in varying proportions to determine the blend that would give the required consistency. The final blend (70% millet and 30% African breadfruit seeds) were then used for the formulation of ‘kunnu-ukwa’ that requires little cooking. Samples were obtained at various stages of production and examined microbiologically for potential pathogens. Kunnu-ukwa recorded total viable counts of 3.09 -3.12 log10 cfu/mL and fungal counts of 1.52-1.62 log10 sfu/mL. Bacillus cereus, salmonellae and staphylococci were insignificant in the freshly produced products. Kunnu-ukwa and kunnu-zaki (control) were subjected to physicochemical and sensory evaluation. Kunnu-ukwa had a pH range of 4.50-4.56. Kunnu-ukwa had higher crude protein and ash contents than the control sample (5.92 vs 2.04%) and (4.91 vs 3.15%), respectively. Moisture, fibre and carbohydrate contents were comparable in both samples. The control sample recorded highest value for total solid (13.05%) and specific gravity (0.83%). Except for thiamine, kunnu-ukwa had higher values for vitamin C, riboflavin and niacin. No significant differences (p>0.05) were observed for mineral and sensory qualities of the samples. Overall, kunnu-ukwa recorded higher values than the control sample. Fortification of pearl millet with African breadfruit seeds for kunnu-ukwa production gave values of improved nutritional qualities and is recommended for use in areas where kunnu products are consumed and protein intake is inadequate.