Selection and characterisation of the predominant Lactobacillus species as a starter culture in the preparation of kocho, fermented food from enset
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Enset (Ensete ventricosum (Welw.) Cheesman) (false banana) plant is a multipurpose traditional crop widely cultivated in the south and southwestern Ethiopia. A study was conducted to determine the predominant microbes from kocho for subsequent use as a starter culture. Accordingly, a total of 40 lactic acid bacteria associated with kocho were characterized both at the phenotypic and genotypic level. Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus paracasei/casei and Lactobacillus fermentum were the isolated strains during kocho fermentation. Most L. plantarum showed rapid acidification and the higher growth rate than L. brevis. Based on these results L. plantarum (n = 10) and L. brevis (n = 3) were selected as possible starter strains and applied to enset pulp in laboratory scale. These starter strains showed fast pH reduction, increased microbial load than control sample and the possibility of a single strain in the fermentation of enset pulps for the production of kocho.
KeywordsEnset Kocho Starter strain Lactobacillus plantarum Lactobacillus brevis
We thank Melanie Huch and Dominic Stoll for their supervision in the microbiological study, and Luisa Martinez-Postigo and Lilia Rudolf, for excellent technical assistance.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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