Production, consumption, and quality attributes of Akpan - a yoghurt-like cereal product from West Africa
Akpan is a high-potential, traditional yoghurt-like product made from fermented cereal starch, and consumed as a thirst-quenching beverage in Benin. This study investigated the characteristics of consumers, the traditional processing techniques and constraints, and the quality attributes of the product in order to find out the best options for possible industrial development. For this purpose, a survey was carried out in different municipalities using a questionnaire administered to stakeholders. While the production and commercialization of Akpan are undertaken exclusively by women, consumption cuts across all classes of people, with consumers in a wide range of socio-cultural groups, ages, and educational levels. Four types of Akpan were encountered, varying in their raw materials and processing technologies. Maize and sorghum were used either singly or in combination through submerged or solid-state fermentation processes. Among the product types, Akpan from maize ogi was the most preferred, mainly because of its long-established history, white colour, sour taste, and pronounced ogi aroma.