Microbiological and fermentation characteristics of togwa, a Tanzanian fermented food

Int J Food Microbiol. 2003 Feb 15;80(3):187-99. doi: 10.1016/s0168-1605(02)00141-1.


Selected microbiological and metabolic characteristics of sorghum, maize, millet and maize-sorghum togwa were investigated during natural fermentation for 24 h. The process was predominated by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts. The mesophiles, lactic acid bacteria, and yeasts increased and the Enterobacteriaceae decreased to undetectable levels within 24 h. The isolated microorganisms were tentatively identified as Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus cellobiosus, Pediococcus pentosaceus, Weissella confusa, Issatchenkia orientalis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida pelliculosa and Candida tropicalis. The pH decreased from 5.24-5.52 to 3.10-3.34. Maltose increased initially and then decreased, fructose decreased and glucose levels increased during the first 12 h of fermentation. The organic acids detected during fermentation included DL-lactic, succinic, formic, pyruvic, citric, pyroglutamic and uric acid. Lactate was the predominant acid and increased significantly with time. The volatile organic compounds (VOC) detected included acetaldehyde, 2-methyl-propanal, 2-methyl-butanal, 3-methyl-butanal, ethanol, 2-methyl-1-propanol, 2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, diacetyl and acetoin. Ethanol was the predominant VOC and it increased significantly with time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Candida / isolation & purification
  • Candida / metabolism
  • Edible Grain / microbiology*
  • Fermentation
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism
  • Lactobacillus / isolation & purification
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Pediococcus / isolation & purification
  • Pediococcus / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / isolation & purification
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*
  • Tanzania
  • Time Factors


  • Lactic Acid