Spontaneous fermentation of traditional sago starch in Papua New Guinea

Greenhill, A.R., Shipton, W.A., Blaney, B.J., Brock, I.J., Kupz, A., and Warner, J.M. (2009) Spontaneous fermentation of traditional sago starch in Papua New Guinea. Food Microbiology, 26 (2). pp. 136-141.

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Abstract

Sago starch is an important dietary carbohydrate in lowland Papua New Guinea (PNG). An investigation was conducted to determine whether microbes play a role in its preservation using traditional methods. In 12 stored sago samples collected from PNG villages, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were present (≥3.6 × 104 cfu/g) and pH ranged from 6.8 to 4.2. Acetic and propionic acids were detected in all samples, while butyric, lactic and valeric acids were present in six or more. In freshly prepared sago, held in sealed containers in the laboratory at 30 C, spontaneous fermentation by endogenous microflora of sago starch was observed. This was evident by increasing concentrations of acetic, butyric and lactic acids over 4 weeks, and pH reducing from 4.9 to 3.1: both LAB and yeasts were involved. Survival of potential bacterial pathogens was monitored by seeding sago starch with w104/g of selected organisms. Numbers of Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus fell to <30/g within 7 days. Salmonella sp. was present only in low numbers after 7 days (<36/g), but Escherichia coli was still detectable after three weeks (>102/g). Fermentation appeared to increase the storability and safety of the product.

Item ID: 10648
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: sago starch; lactic acid bacteria; yeast; fermentation; Indigenous food
ISSN: 1095-9998
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2010 04:48
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110899 Medical Microbiology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920406 Food Safety @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 6
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