The production of ‘dawadawan botso’ a local condiment produced by traditional uncontrolled fermentation, in Nigeria and other parts of Africa is usually based on experience rather than standard measurements. This work was aimed at evaluating the effect of substrate (Hibiscus sabdariffa seeds) and ash leachate on the chemical composition, amino acid profile and the taste of ‘dawadawan botso.' Locally prepared ‘dawadawan botso’ was collected from a local producer and its quality was compared to that prepared in the laboratory under optimized conditions. The ash leachate was standardized by dissolving known masses of ash in a fixed volume of water. The pH of the ash leachate was determined and then added to the substrate before the second fermentation. The pH of the unfermented, fermented H. sabdariffa and the ‘dawadawan botso’ were determined using a pH meter. Determination of the proximate composition, mineral and amino acid profile were done by AOAC method. The results were analyzed statistically using ANOVA and the post-hoc test using Duncan multiple range test (DMRT) for means that were significantly different from each other. Paired sample T- test was also done to test for the significance between groups at P<0.05 using SPSS. The results show that the volume of leachate decreased (385 ml/100 g ash to 144 ml/250 g ash) with increasing pH (13.60 to 13.70) as the mass of ash increased. Proximate analyses showed that carbohydrates were the highest followed by proteins and least was lipids. Potassium (K) and sodium (Na) were the major minerals; magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P) and calcium (Ca) were insignificant compared to the later. The pH of the substrate decreased after second fermentation for all standards and also decreased as mass of substrate increased. The following amino acids; glutamic, aspartic and methionine were observed to decrease with increasing mass of substrate. Fermentation increased the value of total amino acids in substrate. Taste analyses indicated that monosodium glutamate-like taste was dominant, followed by bitter and sweet, respectively for all samples analyzed.
Key words: Ash, Hibiscus sabdariffa, “dawadawan botso”, amino acid profile, proximate composition.
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