Cereal-Based Fermented Foods of Africa as Functional Foods

  • Ome Kalu AchiEmail author
  • Naomi U. Asamudo
Reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)


The demand for consumption of health promoting foods is growing worldwide due to the increased awareness of consumers on the impact of food on health. Traditional fermented foods prepared from cereals such as maize, rice, millet, or sorghum are common in Africa. Fermentation of these cereal grains by traditional methods exploit mixed cultures of various beneficial microorganisms, referred to as probiotics. The improved knowledge of functional aspects of these foods are related to the interactions of bioactive living cells with the host or indirectly as the result of the ingestion of bioactive molecules released during fermentation such as dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB), yeasts, and fungi are the major microorganisms often encountered together in the production of beverages and fermented foods. The beneficial effects of probiotic consumption include improvement of intestinal health by the regulation of microbiota, stimulation and development of the immune system, synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients, alleviation of lactose intolerance symptoms, and reducing the risk of certain other diseases. African cereal fermented foods could provide an abundant opportunity available for it to be made more functional by incorporating probiotic LAB strains with disease-specific functions and could also facilitate the understanding of when to use probiotics for specific pathological states.


Traditional fermented foods Cereal-based foods and beverages Fermentation Functional foods Probiotic organisms Lactic acid bacteria 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyMichael Okpara University of AgricultureUmudikeNigeria
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of UyoUyoNigeria

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