Sudanese women and traditional uses of fermented sorghum.
Various fermented foods are consumed in Sudan, among them, sorghum based products are being used. People consume sorghum in a fermented form mainly as kisra, nasha, aceda and hulu-mur.
This paper reviews the traditional methods used by Sudanese women for the preparation of these foods and their nutritional quality.
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Women play an important role in sustaining and improving food security at global, national, community and household levels in various ways: Women are the majority of the world's agricultural producers, and in many places in the world women are responsible for providing the food for their families, if not by producing it, then by earning the income for its purchase. Finally, women are nearly universally responsible for food preparation for their families. Sudanese women developed many methods of food preparation and preservation, among them is fermentation.
The fermentation of staples Serves as a major source of nourishment for large rural populations, and contributes significantly to food security by increasing the range of raw materials which can be used in the production of edible products.
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is a crop that is wide y grown in the world for food and feed. It is one of the main staples for the world's poorest and most insecure people. It is a key staple in many pans of the developing world, especially in the drier and marginal areas of the semi-arid tropics.
Sorghum is the most important cereal crop in Sudan. It occupies about 40-48% of the total area used for the main field crops, and the average consumption is about 96% of the total production, which is about 3.32 million tons (FAO, 1996). It is evident that sorghum has become the staple food for the vast majority of the Sudanese population.
Various Sudanese foods are made from sorghum. The rural Sudanese women traditionally divide these foods into two major groups. One group encompasses the foods and beverages involving the use of germinated grain, and the other group is composed of the foods and beverages prepared from ungerminated grain. These two groups differ from one another in a number of aspects. The malt containing foods are mostly foods for especial occasions. Although most of them are solid in their processed form; they are often consumed as water suspensions or extracts. On the other hand, the non-malt sorghum constitutes major foods, which include the staple dishes of aceda and kisra. Most of the food items in this category are consumed as solid foods (Dirar, 1993).
Sorghum fermented foods:
Fermented foods are described as agricultural products which have been converted by enzymatic activities of microorganisms into desirable products whose properties are considered more attractive than those of the original raw materials (Ko, 1982). Among the fermented foods, sorghum based products are largely being used in African countries. In Sudan, people consume sorghum in fermented form mainly as kisra, nasha, aceda and hulu-mur.
Preparation of kisra:
Kisra is a pancake or thin bread prepared from fermented sorghum. The fermented dough, known as ajin, is prepared traditionally by mixing sorghum flour with water in a round earthenware container called khumara. A small amount of the previously fermented dough is then added to the mixture of flour and water to act as a starter. After thorough mixing the dough is left to ferment overnight (about 18h). The fermented dough is then baked on a hot steel plate (150-160 [degrees]C) in a process known as aowasa and is a unique Sudanese an. The flat steel plate is heated with wood or charcoal fire. When hot (150-160 [degrees]C) it is cleaned with a piece of cloth containing oil or animal fat. A small amount of the fermented dough (~ 84g) is spread over the hot plate using a 3" strip of wood known as gergeriba (like a then ruler). The process of spreading continues till the dough covers the plate forming a very thin soft sheet of kisra. The sheets are left on the hot plate for 1-2 sec. and are then lifted and considered ready for eating (El Tinay et al., 1985).
Nutritional aspects of kisra:
The chemical characteristics of fermented dough and baked kisra have been examined by many workers (El Tinay et al., 1979; Axtell et al., 1981 and Eggum et al., 1983). The chemical composition of sorghum meal before and after fermentation was shown iii Table I. The crude fiber, crude protein, thiamin and niacin were reported to have been increased by fermentation. The chemical composition of kisra from different varieties of sorghum is given in Table 2. Protein and starch content of kisra were slightly lower than values for fermented dough while sugars and crude fibber are higher in kisra.
According to the amino acid compositions determined by El Tinay et al. (1979) the amino acid lysine was still the limiting amino acid in both dough and kisra (Table 3). There was no significant change in most of the amino acids during fermentation. However, the concentrations of cysteine and methionine decreased, whereas theronine was enriched in the fermented dough (Hamad et al., 1992).
Elkhalifa and El Tinay (1994) estimated the protein fractions of sorghum dough prepared in the same manner for as the production of kisra for low- and high-tannin sorghum cultivars and reported that during fermentation there was a decrease in the prolamin fraction, an increase in the glutelin and a slight increase in the albumin and globulin fractions for the low-tannin cultivar. For the high-tannin grain, the prolamin content fluctuated during fermentation. The albumin fraction increased towards the end of fermentation but decreased at the end (Table 4). Also, they reported that, fermentation decreased the tannin content for both cultivars.
The in vitro protein digestibility (IVPD) and the in vitro starch digestibility (IVSD) of the kisra dough prepared from low- and high-tannin sorghum cultivars were investigated by Hassan and El Tinay (1995). They found that the IVPD increased from 73.6% to 84.9% and from 70.7% to 80% for the two cultivars, respectively. While the IVSD increased from 32.3% to 45.2% and from 33.8% to 47.0% for the two cultivars, respectively (Table 5). Elkhalifa and El Tinay (1995) determined the IVPD of the protein fractions of sorghum dough and found that the IVPD of protein fractions of the low-tannin cultivar increased as a result of fermentation; in the case of the high-tannin sorghum cultivar, IVPD increased during the six hours of fermentation for the albumin, globulin and prolamin fractions; then decreased for the remaining period. The IVPD of the glutelin fraction increased during the last six hours of fermentation.
Fermentation has a definite effect on the ease baking of the very thin kisra sheets. In fact, good kisra bread cannot be made from totally unfermented sorghum dough. The fermented dough is more coherent and can easily be spread out into very thin sheets which can also be peeled off the hot plate easily. All explanation of this change in dough texture was given by Novel lie (1982) who stated that the acid produced by fermentation softens the protein matrix in which the starch granules are lodged, given a higher initial viscosity during cooking than would be obtained the presence of water alone. Another factor, possibly contributing to the coherence and elasticity of the fermented sorghum dough, is the possible production of polysaccharides in the dough by microorganisms, in fact, some Lactobacillus isolates from fermented kisra ajin were found to produce dextrin from sucrose (Mohammed et al., 1991).
Is a thin porridge that is freely flowing under gravity while still hot; traditionally called nasha or medida in the Sudan.
Preparation of nasha:
Traditionally, the standard fermented ajin produced by the same method used for kisra preparation, is the starting material for nasha preparation. Three parts of water are added to one part of the stiff dough and mixed with the hand until it forms slurry. The aim is to dissolve as much of the constituents of the ajin as possible. The suspension is left to stand without disturbance. In a few minutes the coarser particles settle to the bottom of the container. The supernatant is again left to stand, this time for a longer period. A second decantation is then carried out very carefully. The process is repeated until practically no more precipitate forms. Nasha is made from the final supernatant, i.e. from the extract of ajin. About three parts of the original four of the suspension are recovered as supernatant extract to be turned into nasha by cooking while continuously stirring. The consistency of the product is adjusted by either adding a little more water or by evaporating off excess water by heating for a longer period.
Nutritional aspects of nasha:
Nasha is traditionally prepared for three major target groups: the sick, the fasting and the nursing mother. Healthy adults or children are never seen consuming nasha under normal conditions (Dirar, 1993).
Chemical composition of Dabar nasha showed that the product contained 95% water, 3.2% starch. 1.3% crude protein. 0.3% crude fiber, 0.4% ash, 0.2% tat and 230 calories/100 g (Monawer, 1983: Monawer and Badi, 1987).
Graham et al. (1986) prepared nasha by fermenting 1 kg of whole sorghum flour (including a 10% ajin starter) in 18 liters of water at 30 [degrees]C for 12 h. After fermentation, the dough was slowly added to 9.3 liters of boiling water while stirring continuously. Cooking was carried out for 3-4 rain. on low heat until the mixture became thick. This nasha was used in feeding trails. It was fed to convalescent, malnourished infants and small children. The result obtained showed that the apparent absorption of protein was significantly less than that from a casein diet (73-74% vs. 85-86%). Apparent retention of nitrogen from nasha (26%) was significantly lower than those from lysine-supplemented nasha (34%) and casein diet (35-49%). Traditional Sudanese fermentation techniques markedly enhanced protein and energy digestibilities of whole-grain sorghum flour (Graham et al., 1986).
Aceda is a stiff porridge made from fermented sorghum in most parts of the Sudan or from pearl millet in western Sudan.
In the preparation of aceda, first water must be boiled. As soon as the water begins to boil a handful of stiff sorghum dough (ajin, prepared in the same manner as in kisra fermentation) is added to the boiling water with continuos stirring. Boiling and stirring continues until the dough is well cooked to a thin porridge. At this stage another handful of dough is added and mixed in. The process is repealed until a well-cooked porridge has been obtained.
Nutritional aspects of aceda:
Only few studies have been carried out on aceda. Food composition tables issued by the National Health Laboratories at Khartoum Showed aceda to contain 78.6% water, 17.1% carbohydrates, 2.4% crude protein, 0.2% fat, 0.8% crude fiber and 0.5% ash, and per 100 g, it contains 57 nag of phosphorus, 21 mg of calcium, 0.2 mg of iron and 79 calories (Boutros, 1977). Similar results were also reported by Sukker et al. (1975). The high water content of aceda, which may reach 80% (Sukker et al., 1975), is normal. The aceda types analyzed to date are those made in Khartoum; aceda of the rural areas is harder and would be closer in water content to other African porridges.
The nutritive value of aceda is the same of that cooked fermented sorghum. Fermentation of the dough before cooking is a key factor in improvement of the nutritive value of sorghum. Bach Knudsen et al. (1988) found that protein digestibility in the West African porridges, which were not fermented, had the same level of low digestibility as uncooked sorghum gruel tested by Mac Lean et al. (1982) in preschool children. The same results were found with the unfermented East African sorghum porridge uglai.
Hulu-mur or abreh is a food prepared for the special occasion of Ramadan. i.e. fasting of the holly month of Muslims. Hulu-mur is the major drink in the evening breakfast. Hulu-mur is baked as sheets, dried, crumbled and used in Ramadan.
The steps involved in the manufacture of hulu-mur are descried in Fig. 1. Sorghum "Feterita cultivar" is used as a source of the malt and the flour needed for hulu-mur production. The recipe calls for the use of mall and sorghum flour in the ratios of 1:1 or 1:2, respectively. The malt and the grain are separately milled into fine flour.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
The flour from the ungerminated grain is then cooked directly into rather thick porridge similar to aceda or to the slightly thinner medida. The hot porridge is transferred from the cooking pot to another pot in which fermentation and amylolysis will take place. The malt flour is now added to the porridge while the later is still hot. The two ingredients are thoroughly mixed with a wooden stirrer. During this process, liquefaction of the porridge occurs very rapidly so that within minutes the mixture is already sweetish and fluid even though water has not been added to it.
The liquefied mixture is left to ferment in a warm corner of the house or out in the sun in a large container, leaving a head space to accommodate the expected increase in batter volume ensuing front fermentation gases. No starter of any kind is used, the correct organisms, being provided by natural flora of the malt flour and, to a lesser extent, by the flora of the utensils used.
While fermentation occurs, an assortment of selected spices is ground to powder. The most basic of these are ginger (Zingiber officinate), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) and ghurunjal (Alpioia officinarum). Some affluent households may add, in addition to these spices, such substances as tamarind water, red roselle calices water, and date slurry.
Tamarind, roselle and dates are first soaked in water until they become soft. In the case of tamarind and roselle the soaked material is then sieved and the liquid used in hulu-mur mix.
The ground spices and the liquid additives are mixed into the fermenting batter at a specified stage. When a 1:1 ratio of malt to grain is used, additives are mixed in after fermentation has proceeded for 12 h. When a 1:2 ratio is used, the extracts are added after 24 h of fermentation.
After thorough mixing, the whole mixture is further fermented so that the total fermentation time is 24-36 h (El-Gendy, 1983). The batter is now ready for baking, it is sour and sweetish, and has a red-brown color, and a strong bouquet of malt and spices.
The baking of hulu-mur is a painstaking process, far more tedious than the baking of kisra, hulu-mur batter is thinned, at the time of baking, by adding some water but it remains thicker than that for kisra. About 150-250 ml of the batter are poured on the far side of the saj (hot plate) and using a special type of gergeriba (a piece of tough rubber or cardboard), the batter is spread towards the near side of the hot plate in a manner similar to that of kisra baking. As the edge of the plate is approached, the remainder of the batter carried by the gergeriba is applied back onto the surface of the baking sheet. This process is repeated spreading the superfluous batter backward and forward until all the batter aliquot has been 'killed' on the face of the saj.
The hulu-mur sheet has twice the thickness of a kisra sheet, and is baked on one side without a cover for an estimated time of one minute. As it bakes, the sheet partially dries up and parts of it are even scorched to a dark brown color. The semi-dry hulu-mur sheets are spread out on matting and left to dry further in the shade for a day or two. The sheets are then crumbled into smaller flakes and stored (Dirar, 1993).
The usual method of preparing the drink is to soak the hulu-mur flakes in water for an hour or so before straining the steep water out and throwing the residues away. The red-brown, cola-like liquid is usually sweetened with sugar and then drunk.
Nutritional aspects of hulu-mur:
Hulu-mur water has a sweet-sour taste and a pleasant flavor, resulting from the combination of roasted sorghum malt, spices and lactic acid (Bureng, 1979). The extract contains, on average, 24.3% total soluble solids (TSS) (Bureng, 1979).
The proximate composition of hulu-mur is given by Marhoum (1987), as shown in Table 7. The major components of the air-dry flake are, accordingly : sugars (31%), protein (14.3%), lactic acid (3.8%), ash (3.5%) and starch (41%). The major component that presumably goes into solution when the flakes are soaked is the sugar. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that hulu-mur has been designed to provide a readily absorbable sugar, needed to bridge the leeway in blood sugar caused by fasting.
The basic ingredients of hulu-mur are sorghum grain and sorghum malt. However, while ungerminated sorghum is the decisive factor in the nutritional value of cereal foods containing no malt, such as kisra, germinated sorghum seems more important in the case of food containing malt, such as hulu-mur. An important characteristic of germinated sorghum is its content of the poisonous hydrocyanic acid (HCN) and therefore the consumption of sorghum products made from them may be hazardous to health (Panasiuk and Bills, 1984).
Chemical analysis has shown that hulu-mur samples contain very small amounts of total cyanide. For instance, while a 4-day Feterita malt contained 67.6 mg of cyanide per 100 g of dry weight, five hulu-mur samples from the market had a total cyanide content ranging from 1.0 mg to 3.6 mg per 100 g dry matter (Ahmed, 1988). One of the effective steps in reducing the cyanide level in hulu-mur preparation is the fermentation step. Ahmed (1988) found that when sorghum malt, initially containing 16.5 mg/ 100 g, was fermented for two and five days, total cyanide droped to 10.3 and 5.3 mg/100 g, respectively.
Agab (1985) isolated 41 bacterial strains and five yeasts from the various stages of hulu-mur fermentation. Marhoum (1987) found that the dominant microorganisms in hulu-mur fermentation were Lactobacillus, Acetobacter, Leuconostoc, Gluconobacter and the yeasts Saccharamyces and Candida.
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Abd Elmoneim Osman Elkhalifa, (School of Family Sciences, Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan).
Table 1. Chemical composition of unfermented (UN) and fermented (F) meals of three varieties of sorghum (% dry basis) Constituent Dabar Feterita Mayo UN F UN F UN F * NPN 0.65 1.8 0.98 2.9 0.98 1.99 Crude protein 10.5 11.9 11.6 12.1 8.8 10.2 Starch 70.8 66 72.9 65 71.8 63.2 Total sugars 2.7 2.4 2.9 1.1 3.1 2.1 Non-reducing sugars 2.1 1.2 1.8 0.9 2 1 Crude fiber 1.7 3.6 1.2 3.1 1.9 2.9 B1 (mg) 0.50 0.6 0.41 0.55 0.51 0.60 B2 (mg) 0.19 0.22 0.18 0.40 0.19 0.30 Niacin (mg) 2.22 3.7 2.25 3.29 2.27 3.28 Source: El Tinay et al. (1979) * None protein nitrogen Table 2. Chemical composition of kisra (% dry basis) Non- Crude Total reducing Crude Variety NPN protein Starch sugars sugars fibre Dabar 0.98 10.6 60 2.1 1.9 3.8 Feterita 0.30 11.5 60 2 1.7 3.8 Mayo 0.99 20.5 61 1.9 1.6 3.9 B1 B2 Niacin Variety (mg) (mg) (mg) Dabar 0.55 0.12 3.22 Feterita 0.52 0.33 3.2 Mayo 0.72 0.18 3.5 Source: El Tinay et al. (1979) Table 3. Amino acid composition of fermented batter and kisra Variety Item Asp Thr Ser Glu Pro Gly Ala Dabar Batter 9.0 4.6 5.9 29.8 10.9 4.7 10.9 Kisra 10.6 4.7 5.8 31.1 8.4 4.2 5.2 Feterita Batter 10.2 5.1 6.7 33.7 13.5 4.6 14.3 Kisra 7.9 4.3 6.8 24.4 9.6 3.5 10.9 Mayo Batter 7.9 4.1 5.3 25.7 10.3 4.2 10.8 Kisra 6.5 3.5 6.3 19.5 8.1 2.8 8.6 Variety Item Val Met Isoleu Dabar Batter 6.7 2.1 4.9 Kisra 8.0 1.1 6.7 Feterita Batter 7.9 2.7 5.9 Kisra 6.1 0.9 4.8 Mayo Batter 6.2 2.0 4.8 Kisra 5.4 1.2 3.8 Variety Item Leu Tyr Phe Lys His Arg Dabar Batter 15.1 5.4 6.8 3.3 2.7 5.4 Kisra 12.3 6.0 7.4 3.3 3.9 3.0 Feterita Batter 20.6 6.7 8.4 3.1 3.2 5.2 Kisra 14.3 2.3 5.6 3.7 3.3 3.0 Mayo Batter 15.5 5.3 6.5 3.3 3.1 5.5 Kisra 11.1 3.2 5.0 2.6 2.6 3.2 Source: El Tinay et al. (1979) Table 4. Effect of fermentation on protein fractions of two sorghum cultivars. Low-tannin cultivar Fermenta Albumin Globulin Prolamin Glutelin Albumin tion time (h) 0 11.5 8.2 60.2 102 10.0 2 10.9 4.4 62.3 12.0 12.5 4 12.0 7.6 51.9 19.0 12.5 6 13.3 10.7 48.2 17.1 10.1 8 13.8 13.2 46.6 18.5 10.0 10 13.3 13.8 47.2 16.3 9.7 12 13.7 13.3 47.5 14.7 9.3 14 13.7 13.1 51.1 10.3 8.9 High-tannin cultivar Fermenta Globulin Prolamin Glutelin tion time (h) 0 4.7 67.9 9.4 2 5.6 61.5 11.8 4 9.4 59.4 13.2 6 5.4 71.1 8.1 8 5.3 66.5 12.0 10 4.5 68.2 12.3 12 4.3 68.7 12.4 14 4.1 69.4 12.4 Source: Elkhalifa and El Tinay (1994) Table 5. In vitro protein digestibility (IVPD) and in vitro starch digestibility (IVSD) of two sorghum cultivars fermented dough Fermentation Low-tannin High-tannin time (h) cultivar cultivar IVPD% IVSD% IVPD% IVSD% 0 73.6 32.3 70.7 33.8 2 75.3 34.6 71.8 36.1 4 77.2 36.6 72.8 38.4 6 77.8 38.4 73.7 40.0 8 79.1 39.7 75.1 42.6 10 81.9 41.0 77.1 45.0 12 84.4 43.4 79.1 46.2 14 84.9 45.2 80.1 47.0 Source: Hassan and El Tinay (1995) Table 6. Nutritional quality of kisra Nutritional characteristics Varity Dabar Tetron Feterita Extraction 79.0 100.0 100.0 rate (%) True protein 96.9 92.8 93.2 Digestibility Biological 53.3 52.7 50.8 value Net protein 53.4 48.9 47.3 utilisation Source: Eggum et al. (1983) Table 7. Proximate composition of hulu-mur Parameter % of dry matter Moisture 6.1 pH 4.5 Acidity (as lactic acid) 3.8 Volatile acids (as acetic acid) 0.2 Ethanol 0.8 Crude protein 14.3 Fat 1.8 Fiber 2.5 Carbohydrates 71.9 Sugar 31.0 Ash 3.5 Source: Marhoum (1987)
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|Author:||Elkhalifa, Abd Elmoneim Osman|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2005|
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