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, 25 (4), 616-25

Functional Properties of Selected Starter Cultures for Sour Maize Bread


Functional Properties of Selected Starter Cultures for Sour Maize Bread

Mojisola O Edema et al. Food Microbiol.


This paper focuses on the functional properties of maize sour-dough microflora selected and tested for their use as starter cultures for sour maize bread. Lactic acid bacteria and yeasts isolated from spontaneously fermented maize dough were selected based on dominance during fermentation and presence at the end of fermentation. Functional properties examined included acidification, leavening and production of some antimicrobial compounds in the fermenting matrix. The organisms previously identified as Lactobacillus plantarum, Lb. brevis, Lb. fermentum, Lb. acidophilus, Pediococcus acidilactici, Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Leuconostoc dextranicum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were used singly and as mixed cultures in the fermentation (fermentation time: 12h at 28+/-2 degrees C) of maize meal (particle size >0.2mm). The pH fell from an initial value of 5.62-3.05 in maize meals fermented with Lb. plantarum; 4.37 in L. dextranicum+S. cerevisiae compared with the value for the control (no starter) of 4.54. Significant differences (P <or =0.05) were observed in values obtained for the functional properties tested when starters were inoculated compared with the control (no starter) except for leavening. Bivariate correlations at 0.01 levels (two-tailed) showed that significant correlations existed among pH and production of antimicrobial compounds in the fermenting meals, the highest correlation being between production of diacetyl and acid (0.694), a positive correlation indicating that production of both antimicrobial compounds increase together with time. Antimicrobial activities of the fermented maize dough were confirmed by their abilities to inhibit the growth of Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus flavus from an initial inoculum concentration of 7 log cfu ml(-1)) for test bacteria and zone of inhibition of up to 1.33 cm for aflatoxigenic A. flavus. The findings of this study form a database for further studies on the development of starter cultures for sour maize bread production as an alternative bread specialty.

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