This study evaluated the effect of fermentation period on the proximate composition, anti-nutritional content, fibre fractions and amino acid profile of cocoa pod husk meal (CPHM). Cocoa pod husk was taken through a solid state fermentation process involving Rhizopus stolonifer as its starter culture for a period of two weeks. The fermented CPHM was dried and analyzed for its proximate composition, anti-nutritional factors, fibre fractions and amino acid profile. The results of the study revealed that the crude protein content of CPHM significantly (P ≤ 0.05) improved during fermentation by 48.59%, while crude fibre and crude lipid decreased significantly (P ≤ 0.05) by 14 and 22%, respectively after 2 weeks of fermentation. The theobromine, tannin and phytate of the fermented samples decreased by 77.3, 94 and 27% after 14 days fermentation, respectively. Also, the neutral detergent fibre (NDF), acid detergent fibre (ADF), acid detergent lignin (ADL), hemicellulose (HEMM) and cellulose (CELL) decreased progressively as the days of fermentation increased and total esssential amino acid (TEAA) of the fermented CPH meal increased significantly (P ≤ 0.05) as days of fermentation increased showing that Rhizopus stolonifer may both enhance CPHM protein quantity and improve its quality. It could be concluded that fermentation with R. stolonifer for 14 days could improve the nutritive value of CPH and thus increase its inclusion in the formulation of diets for animals.
Key words: Cocoa pod husk meal, fermentation, Rhizopus stolonifer, nutritive, anti-nutritive composition.
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