The Cereal Market and the Role of Fermentation in Cereal-Based Food Production in Africa

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Cereals represent the main crop in Africa (45% of arable land) and make an important contribution to the human diet in this continent. Cereals for humans are not consumed raw. Fermentation technology is widely used in Africa to transform cereals into edible products as well as to preserve and enhance the nutritional and safety aspects of cereals. In general, in Africa, this process is not controlled and is devoid of good manufacturing practices (GMPs). Spoilage and/or pathogenic microorganisms may compromise the final quality when the fermentation is not controlled. This article focuses on the role that the fermentation process could play in creating safe food conditions in Africa. Taking into account the increasing demand for cereals, in particular maize and rice, which contain undesired microorganisms, fermentation can play an important role in creating food security and safety. Here, the authors report a detailed analysis of the cereal market, the main transformation processes used to obtain a variety of products from cereals, the most current information on the microbial ecology of the most important traditional fermented cereals, and the safety aspects of and the technological parameters for the selection of the strains to be used as starters for African cereal-based fermented products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-337
Number of pages21
JournalFood Reviews International
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • General Chemical Engineering


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