An Evaluation of the Microflora Associated with Fermented African Oil Bean (Pentaclethra Macrophylla Bentham) Seeds During Ugba Production

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The microorganisms associated with fermented African oil bean (Pentaclethra macrophylla Bentham) seed during ugba production was studied. Only bacteria were isolated from the ugba samples used. Although the bacteria included Bacillus spp., Lactobacillus spp., Staphylococcus spp., Micrococcus spp. and members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, only the Bacillus spp. were found to ferment African oil bean seeds to ugba. Bacillus spp. were the predominant microorganisms present, constituting over 95% of the total microbial population density. An increase in the number of Bacillus cells of about 2 log units daily, which attained a maximum density of log10 9.00 - log10 11.90 cfu/g after 3 days was observed. Contrarily, the Lactobacillus spp. increased minimally and attained a maximum value of log10 4.20 - log10 6.35 cfu/g within the same period. The Staphylococcus spp., Micrococcus spp. and the members of the family Enterobacteriaceae remained fairly steady in number for 24h, increased slightly till the 3rd day followed by exponential increases which attained maximum values of between log10 9.20 - log10 11.00, about the 7th day. Bacillus spp. cells also had the highest protease activities which were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than the values for the other bacterial isolates. The Bacillus spp. responsible for the fermentation of African oil bean seeds to ugba were identified as Bacillus coagulans, B. macerans, B. megaterium, B. pumilis and B. subtilis.

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