Author(s): Mensah P, Tomkins AM, Drasar BS, Harrison TJ
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Abstract Unhygienic conditions of a typical rural community in a developing country were simulated in the laboratory by inoculating fermented maize dough porridge with Shigella flexneri and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). The antimicrobial effects of the different processes involved in the preparation of fermented maize dough porridge were assessed. The soaking process reduced the pH but no antimicrobial effect against shigella and ETEC was noted. Unfermented maize dough did not inhibit any of the test strains. When the fermentation process had become established, half of the strains tested were inhibited by the fermented maize dough when examined 8 h after inoculation. Cooking the fermented maize dough into porridge reduced the antimicrobial effect but there was still significant inhibition of pathogens. This suggests that the antimicrobial effect of fermented maize dough is not due to pH per se. Fermentation of maize dough appears to be a useful strategy for reducing contamination of weaning foods by Sh. flexneri and ETEC. The possible nature of the antimicrobial agent(s) produced during the fermentation of maize dough is discussed.
This article was published in J Appl Bacteriol
and referenced in Journal of Probiotics & Health