Biochemical changes during the fermentation of castor oil (Ricinus communis) seeds for use as a seasoning agent
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Castor oil seeds were fermented under conditions commonly used in some local communities in Eastern Nigeria. Levels of selected biochemical constituents of fermented seeds were compared with those of unfermented seeds. The free amino acids — phenylalanine, tryptophan, tyrosine, serine, glutamic acid, cysteine, and gluamine — were detected by using thin-layer chromatography in the fermented sample extract, while none were detectable in the extract of unfermented seeds. Lipid analysis showed that the fermented seeds contained more unsaturated fatty acids than the unfermented seeds. Glutamine produced by the microorganisms responsible for fermentation is probably responsible for the characteristic flavor of foods seasoned with fermented castor oil seeds, known locally as ogiri.
KeywordsFermentation Glutamine Tryptophan Glutamic Acid Phenylalanine
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