African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 978

Review

Possible microbial and biochemical contaminants of an indigenous banana beer 'Urwagwa': A mini review

K. Shale*
  • K. Shale*
  • School for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Central University of Technology, Free State, P/Bag X20539, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa
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J. Mukamugema
  • J. Mukamugema
  • Food Science and Technology, Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, Avenue de I'Armee, P.O. Box 3900 Kigali-Rwanda
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R. J. Lues
  • R. J. Lues
  • School for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Central University of Technology, Free State, P/Bag X20539, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa
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P. Venter
  • P. Venter
  • Fontera Co-operative Group Limited, Postal Address: Private Bag 11029, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
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  •  Received: 05 December 2013
  •  Accepted: 04 February 2014
  •  Published: 31 July 2014

Abstract

Indigenous traditional beers play an important role in the daily social, economic, nutritional and cultural life of the people especially in developing countries. Bananas and banana beer remain very popular in Rwanda and they continue to be an important source of income. Banana cultivation forms an essential part of the socio-economic life of Rwandan communities, and the fruit has a long and widespread history in the production of alcoholic beverages. However, there is very little documentation on this product. Although, methods of manufacture have been passed through generations in Rwanda, little is reported in the literature, and research has been minimal. As a result of increased rural-urban migration, and the adoption of Western culture by the younger generation, most of these fermentation techniques will die off, and remain history to the next generation while many other countries are expanding and scaling up the processing of their respective indigenous fermented foods and beverages. Therefore, the objective of this mini-review was to document the traditional processing techniques, characteristics of the product, traditional culture associated with this beverage and to trace its origin and the problems which farmers might be facing during processing in order to identify research topics that can alleviate some of the problems and constraints identified.

Key words: Biochemical, bananas, contamination, indigenous banana beer, urwagwa.