Malting characteristics of different varieties of fonio millet (Digitaria exilis)
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) were investigated for their malting characteristics. Five of the eight varieties investigated showed good malting properties. Of the five varieties assayed for enzyme activities, three (Nock-2, KN-3 and Chori-1) had a preponderance of β-amylase as the major starch-degrading enzyme, which is similar to the enzyme profile in barley. Water and 2% aqueous peptone enzyme extracts showed that fonio malt (D. exilis) contained insoluble amylases. Amylase had an optimum pH of 4.6 in all the samples investigated. KN-3 had the highest malting loss in the range 31.6–41.7% (w/w) while Chori-1 had the lowest malting loss in the range 5.7–25.9% between day 4 and day 6 of germination. Chori-1 had the best malting characteristics and brewing potential with amylolytic activity of 39.19 ±0.13° IOB on day 4 of germination. The optimum mashing temperature was in the range 50–55°C.
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