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Research Article Open Access

Biochemical and Microbial Developments of Eleusine Coaracana (Rapoko) Malt based Maheu, a Zimbabwean Non-Alcoholic Beverage


A study on the microbial and biochemical changes that occurred during the traditional process of rapoko (E. coaracana) malt based maheu was carried out using controlled conditions of initial pH range of 6.0-8.0 and incubation temperature range of 25-40°C over a fermentation period of 48 hr. Under different initial pH and temperature values, the fermentation set-ups showed optimum conditions of initial pH 6.0 and 40°C. The highest acidity value change was from a value of 0.3 to 0.55. The acidity change tallied with the recorded highest increase of microbial counts of LAB at the optimum conditions. However, yeasts and molds showed no much significant differences in log cfu/ml values under all the fermentation conditions. Hence, the differences in acidity change were then attributed to LAB microbes metabolic activities. Sensory evaluation noted a significant difference on the quality of rapoko based maheu when compared to several flavoured commercial maheu products with X-squared=42, df=36, p-value=0.227) and the statistical analysis showed a significant difference with p ≤ 0.05.

Zvidzai CJ, Munosiyei P, Muronzi RF, and Usai T

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