Effects of blanching and controlled fermentation on nutritional properties of unripe plantain flour
Keywords:Unripe plantain, Blanching, Spontaneous fermentation, Controlled fermentation, Nutritional properties
This work investigated the combined effect of blanching and controlled fermentation on nutritional composition of unripe plantain (Musa paradisiaca) flour. Blanching and spontaneous fermentation of unripe plantain was carried out using standard procedures. Isolation and identification of Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were carried out using culture-dependent method and morphological and biochemical characterization respectively. Fermentation of the unripe plantain using selected starters and nutritional properties were carried out using standard methods. The results obtained in this study revealed that pH of fermenting samples decreased from 6.9 – 4.7 and the total titratable acidity increased from 0.043 – 0.086. Isolates on MRS agar had the highest total viable count. Lactobacillus plantarum, L. fermentum, L. bulgaricus and Leuconostoc mesenteroides were isolated and identified. L. plantarum produced the highest antimicrobial compounds, had the highest ability to hydrolyse starch and its safety properties has been confirmed. Based on these parameters it was selected as starter cultures for the controlled fermentation of unripe plantain. L. plantarum fermented samples had the highest nutritional properties compared to the raw, blanched and spontaneous fermented samples. It can be concluded that the combined effect of blanching and controlled fermentation improved the nutritional property of unripe plantain flour.