Nutritional value

Shawn Mark Somerset

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Alkaline-fermented foods (AFFs) comprise a diverse group of region-specific food products that, although widely consumed in parts of Asia and Africa, are not generally recognized outside of their regions of traditional production and consumption. This apparent obscurity should not, however, undermine the significant role these foods play in the nutritional intakes of communities in these regions. The fermentation process transforms somewhat mundane, unpalatable, potentially toxic, and difficult to digest plant foods into culinary diverse and desirable foods that deliver essential nutrients (particularly protein, amino acids, and minerals) within otherwise marginal diets. Further, foods such as African locust bean (Parkia biglobosa Benth.) dawadawa are made during the dry season in parts of Africa (Wang and Fung, 1996), maintaining some level of protein intake during periods of potential food insecurity. Consequently, AFFs play an important role in achieving dietary sufficiency in a range of traditional settings. From a dietary intake perspective, this fermentation process has a range of distinct advantages common to all forms of fermentation: preservation against microbiological spoilage, enhanced depth and diversity of flavor, enhanced dietary versatility and palatability, altered nutritional value, and decreased toxicity (Wang and Fung, 1996), all of which have dietary significance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Indigenous Foods Involving Alkaline Fermentation
EditorsPrabir K. Sarkar, M.J. Robert Nout
Place of PublicationBoca Raton, FL, USA
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781466565302
ISBN (Print)9781466565296
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameFermented Foods and Beverages
PublisherCRC Press


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