Bikalga is a product of traditional alkaline fermentation of Hibiscus sabdariffaused as food condiment in African countries including Burkina Faso. Its production process was studied at different production sites of Burkina Faso where the different steps of the technology were recorded, specific diagram of production of each production site was established and a general flow diagram proposed. The changes in pH throughout the fermentation was measured and the proximate composition of unfermented and fermented seeds was determined. The presence of minerals in both unfermented and fermented seeds was also determined by spectrophotometry. The production of Bikalga involves many steps with the most important being cleaning, cooking (with addition of alkalinizing ash leachate), fermentations, steaming and drying. During the process, pH increased with cooking and fermentation (pH 8 - 9), then decreased mainly with steaming and drying (pH 6 in some cases). The studied raw seeds were composed of 28.69 ± 1.15% of crude proteins, 21.93 ± 0.74% of crude lipids, 26.39 ± 1.03% of carbohydrates and the fermented seed showed 26.47 ±1.5 for proteins 23.19 ± 1.25 for crude lipids and 13.7 ± 0.62 for carbohydrates. An increase of moisture and ash content as well as total titratable and fat acidity occurred with the fermentation. Variable minerals were detected in the seeds with an outstanding increase (in some cases) of potassium and a pronounced increase of sulphur, sodium and calcium in the final product.
Key words: Hibiscus sabdariffa, alkaline fermentation, Bikalga, technology, proximate composition.
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