D. Joseph Hounhouigan
Indigenous practices and quality perception in the production of kilichi, a grilled dried meat in Niger
Production and processing of meat constitute important activities that procure substantial revenues for breeders, food processors, and sellers, as well as supplying animal proteins to the populations of Niger. Among the meat products, kilichi is one of the most popular, made of a diversity of meats, but also produced in diverse forms. A survey involving 695 stakeholders was carried out to investigate kilichi production, selling, consumption, and quality perception in different regions known to be the highest production zones of kilichi in the country. Data collected were analysed by descriptive statistics and correspondence analyses. Production and commercialization of kilichi involved men exclusively, all from the Hausa ethnic group, with more than 80 per cent between 21 and 50 years old, all of Islamic religion and low educational level. Two categories of kilichi were produced from bovine, camel, ovine, and goat meat, comprising coated kilichi enrobed with sauce made from blends of ingredients and uncoated kilichi slightly seasoned. Within each category, types of kilichi were differentiated by the process, mainly involving enrobing, drying, and grilling, and the types of seasonings used, which probably affect the organoleptic, nutritional, and sanitary quality of kilichi. The quality attributes of kilichi are flavour, tenderness, friability, and shelf life. The survey also showed that the production of kilichi was artisanal, and unsanitary conditions prevailing in the workshops can result in unsafe food.
A good understanding of the socio-demographic and economic factors which characterize the food value chains (FVC) of traditional African fermented foods is a major prerequisite for developing and implementing scientific evidence-based policies towards the improvement of Africa’s food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture. This study aims at identifying the key factors which shape the FVC for mawè and its derived products. Mawè is a traditional fermented cereal dough, widely consumed in Benin. The findings of the study show that mawè and its derived products are processed, marketed, and consumed through both ‘traditional’ and ‘traditional-to-modern’ value chains. The traditional chain plays a key role in facilitating food affordability for low-income people. However, the traditional-to-modern value chain is increasingly predominant, especially in an urbanized environment, and consequently offers greater opportunities for value chain upgrading for value-added processing of traditional fermented foods. The study offers insights into policy and research challenges in value chain upgrading.
Gowe is a sweetish paste of malted, fermented, and cooked sorghum and/or maize flour, consumed in its pure state, but preferentially as a beverage after homogenizing with water, sugar, milk, and ice. A survey was carried out at different localities in the traditional gowe producing areas to investigate the diversity of the processing techniques, consumers’ characteristics, and the quality attributes. Producers and sellers were women exclusively while consumers cut across all classes of age, socio-cultural groups, and educational levels. Gowe varied in cereal and processing techniques, with maize and sorghum being used either singly or in combination (maize/sorghum ratio varying from 1 to 3) through four processes. Apart from the alternative process which leaves out the malting step, gowe processing techniques aim at producing sweetish and acidic tasting products through malting, saccharification, and fermentation. A principal component analysis plot of quality criteria of gowe indicated that the preference of consumers was directly associated with the perceptions of producers.
Pentadesma butyracea is used in the North of Benin to produce a type of butter similar to shea butter. The present work was carried out to investigate the traditional processing of butter from P. butyracea through a survey among 192 traditional butter processors from 14 sociocultural groups in five different parklands in northern Benin. Three different pre-treatments of P. butyracea kernels have been identified as the basis of the butter extraction process. The pre-treatment more frequently used (69.7 per cent of processors) consists of depulping the fruit to get fresh kernels which are first boiled for 1–2 h before sun drying for 14–30 days to get cooked and dried kernels which are involved in the next steps of the extraction process. The extraction itself involves two main steps, heating and kneading, which also vary according to processors. Ten methods of processing of P. butyracea including six new methods have been reported. Two of the newly identified methods are mostly used by Boo, Anii, and Mokolé sociocultural groups from northern Benin. The identified methods of butter processing need to be optimized and the quality of the derivate butter should be assessed, using a well-known variety of P. butyracea as the raw material.