The process for bacterial fermentation and foil packaging of condiment (‘Okpeye’) from African mesquite seeds was described and its nutritional enrichment and packaging improvement for commercialization were verified. The seeds (1 Kg) were cleaned, washed and boiled in autoclave at 121°C for 2 h, cooled, drained, de-hulled and divided into two portions of 300 g each. One portion was placed in sterile paw-paw leaves (BL), inoculated and tightly wrapped with the leaves to ferment for 4 days. The remaining portion was placed in aluminium foil, inoculated and wrapped tightly with the foil (BF). Seeds processed by the traditional method served as control (TL and TF). The condiments were subjected to selected nutritional composition and sensory analyses. Moisture content was significantly (p<0.05) higher for TL product than TF and could indicate that higher moisture was absorbed from the leaves during fermentation of de-hulled seeds than from the foil. Negligible differences were found in the ash and carbohydrate contents of the samples. Crude protein contents were higher for bacterial fermented products (26.70-27.53%) than traditional products (18.07-18.67%). The BL condiment was preferred to others and was overall most acceptable. The study advocates bacterial fermentation for the production of the condiment, its cubing and packaging in the foil; for nutrient retention and income generation.
Key words: Mesquite seeds, condiment, Bacillus species, fermentation, foil packaging.
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