Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe
Augustine Mpofu is a final year Ph.D. student at Wageningen University and a Lecturer in Food Microbiology at Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe. He has published papers in reputed journals. Augustine was a Food Technologist at the University of Zimbabwe and later Head of the Department of Food Science and Postharvest Technology at Chinhoyi University of Technology. He is a member of the National Taskforce on Food Fortification. His research interest includes probiotics and functional foods, food fermentations, fruit and vegetable technology.
To enable resource-poor populations in Southern Africa to benefit from a functional food, a probiotic dairy product was developed on the basis of a traditional dish called mutandabota which is widely consumed in rural Southern Africa. This product makes it an ideal food matrix to carry probiotics. Probiotic mutandabota was prepared in a village in Zimbabwe. Cow milk was boiled and cooled to ambient temperature. Dry pulp from the fruit of the baobab tree (Adansonia digitata L.) was added to the milk. This mixture was inoculated with a probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus yoba and left to ferment for 24 h. Thereafter, other ingredients were added to produce probiotic mutandabota that had 14 % pulp, 7 % sugar and 79 % milk. The pH of probiotic mutandabota was pH 3.5. L. rhamnosus yoba increased from 5.8±0.3 log cfu/mL at the point of inoculation to 8.8±0.4 log cfu/mL at the moment of consumption, thereby meeting the criterion for a probiotic food to have more than 6 log cfu/mL viable cells. Baobab pulp promoted growth of L. rhamnosus yoba, with a specific growth rate of 0.48 h-1. The developed technology though specific for this particular product, can be duplicated elsewhere with appropriate modifications to suit other foods in different regions of the world. Probiotic mutandabota is expected to contribute to improved intestinal health of the population.