Growth and survival of Bacillus cereus in mageu, a sour maize beverage

  • Y.B. Byaruhanga
  • B.H. Bester
  • T.G. Watson


The growth and survival of Bacillus cereus, a known pathogen commonly found in cereals, during lactic acid fermentation of mageu, a sour maize beverage, was studied. In the mageu base inoculated with both the starter culture and B. cereus, the acidity developed to pH ≤ 4.00 and 0.10% titratable acidity after 24 h; the growth of B. cereus was reduced from 106 c.f.u./ml to 102 c.f.u./ml within 24 h; after the first 6 h of fermentation, the rate of inhibition of B. cereus was correlated to the rate of decrease in pH (r = 0.85, p < 0.05); the redox potential (Eh) decreased from 463 to 149 mV within the first 12 h. The control mageu base to which neither starter nor lactic acid was added, had a pH of 6.50, titratable acidity of 0.015% and lowest Eh of 244 mV. In the mageu base to which lactic acid and B. cereus were added, the pathogen was inhibited to < 101 c.f.u./ml. The B. cereus in the mageu base to which no starter culture nor lactic acid was added, grew to over 107 c.f.u./ml after 12 h. The decrease in Eh seemed to have no inhibitory effect on the growth and survival of B. cereus. No strains of lactic acid bacteria were found to produce bacteriocins antagonistic to B. cereus. Low pH and acidity were found to be the major factors inhibiting growth of B. cereus in mageu.

B. cereus lactic acid bacteria mageu redox potential sour maize beverage 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anon. 1980 Oxidation-reduction potential. In Microbial Ecology of Foods. Vol. 1, Factors Affecting Life and Death of Micro-organisms. pp. 112–123. New York. Academic Press. ISBN 0–12–363501–2.Google Scholar
  2. Anon. 1987 Milk and milk products: enumeration of micro-organisms - colony count at 30 °C. International Dairy Federation Standard 100A, 1–5.Google Scholar
  3. Aryanta, R.W., Fleet, G.H. & Buckle, K.A. 1991 The occurrence and growth of micro-organisms during the fermentation of fish sausage. International Journal of Food Microbiology 13, 143–156.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ayebo, A.D. & Mutasa, M.P. 1987 Fermentation of maize based mageu. In Improving Young Child Feeding in Eastern and Southern Africa - Household level Food Technology, eds Alnwick, D., Moses S. & Schmidt, O.G. pp. 174–180. Ottawa. International Development Research Centre. IDRC-265e. ISBN 0–88936–516–4.Google Scholar
  5. Blakey, L.J. & Priest, F.G. 1980 The occurrence of Bacillus cereus in some dried foods including pulses and cereals. Journal of Applied Bacteriology 48, 297–302.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Davies, F.L. & Wilkinson, G. 1973 Bacillus cereus in milk and dairy products. In The microbial safety of food, eds Hobbs, B.C. & Christian, J.H.B. pp. 57–67. London. Academic Press. ISBN 12–350750–2.Google Scholar
  7. Goepfert, J.M., Spira, W.M. & Kim, H.U. 1972 Bacillus cereus: Food poisoning organism. A review. Journal of Milk and Food Technology 35, 213–227.Google Scholar
  8. Hesseltine, C.W. 1979 Some important fermented foods of Mid-Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Journal of American Oil Chemists' Society 56, 367–374.Google Scholar
  9. Holzapfel, W.H. 1989 Industrialisation of mageu fermentation in South Africa. In Industrialisation of indigenous fermented foods, ed. Steinkraus, K.H. pp. 285–328. New York. Marcel Dekker. ISBN 0–8247–8074–4.Google Scholar
  10. Johnson, K.M. 1984 Bacillus cereus foodborne illness–an update. Journal of Food Protection 47, 145–153.Google Scholar
  11. Kingamukono, R., Sjogren, E., Svanberg, U. & Kaijser, B. 1994 pH and acidity in lactic fermented cereal gruels: e.ects on viability of enteropathogenic micro-organisms. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 10, 664–669.Google Scholar
  12. Lindgren, S.E. & Dobrogosz, W.J. 1990 Antagonistic activities of lactic acid bacteria in food and feed fermentations. FEMS Micro-biological Reviews 87, 149–164.Google Scholar
  13. Motarjemi, Y. & Nout, M.J.R. 1996 Food fermentation: a safety and nutritional assessment. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 74, 553–559.Google Scholar
  14. Nout, M.J.R. & Rombouts, F.M. 1992 Fermentative preservation of plant foods. Journal of Applied Bacteriology Symposium Supplement 73, 136S–147S.Google Scholar
  15. Nout, M.J.R., Beernik, G. & Bonants-Van Laarhoven, T.M.G. 1987a Growth of Bacillus cereus in soyabean Tempe. International Journal of Food Microbiology 4, 293–301.Google Scholar
  16. Nout, M.J.R., De Dreu, M.A., Zuubier, A.M. & Bonants-Van Laarhoven, T.M.G. 1987b Ecology of controlled soyabean acidification for tempe manufacture. Food Microbiology 4, 165–172.Google Scholar
  17. Olsen, A., Halm, M. & Jakobsen, M. 1995 Antimicrobial activity of lactic acid bacteria from fermented maize (kenkey) and their inter-action during fermentation. Journal of Applied Bacteriology 79, 506–512.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Rodel, W. & Lucke, F.K. 1990 Effect of redox potential on Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis in broth and pasteurised sausage mixtures. International Journal of Food Microbiology 10, 291–302.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Rusul, G. & Yaacob, N.H. 1995 Prevalence of Bacillus cereus in se-lected foods and detection of enterotoxin using TECRA-VIA and BCET-RPLA. International Journal of Food Microbiology 25, 131–139.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Svanberg, U., Sjogren, E., Lorri, W., Svennerholm, A.M. & Kaijser, B. 1992 Inhibited growth of common enteropathogenic bacteria in lactic-fermented cereal gruels. World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 8, 601–606.Google Scholar
  21. Tomkins, A., Alnwick, D. & Haggerty, P. 1987 Fermented foods for improving child feeding in eastern and southern Africa: a review. In Improving Young Child Feeding in Eastern and Southern Africa - Household level Food Technology, eds Alnwick, D., Moses, S. & Schmidt, O.G. pp. 136–167. Ottawa. International Development Research Centre. IDRC-265e. ISBN 0–88936–516–4.Google Scholar
  22. Van Belkum, M.J., Hayema, B.J., Geis, A., Kok, J. & Venema, G. 1989 Cloning of two bacteriocin genes from lactococcal bacteriocin plasmid. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 55, 1187–1191.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Van Noort, G. & Spence, C. 1976 The mahewu industry. South African Food Review 3, 129–133.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y.B. Byaruhanga
    • 1
  • B.H. Bester
    • 1
  • T.G. Watson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Food ScienceUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.CSIR – Food Science and TechnologyPretoriaSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations