Fermentation is one of the popular food processing techniques used in the development of functional foods and beverages around the world. Fermentation is also used to preserve foods and improve their nutritional aspects. Fresh fruits and vegetables generally have short shelf-lives due to high water activity, and rapid microbial and enzymatic spoilage. Thus, to preserve and diversify their usage, fermentation is often employed, as a low cost, and efficacious processing method. This process has more significance in tropical and subtropical climatic conditions such as prevail in many African countries and favors the proliferation of microorganisms, both desirable and undesirable. Moreover, fruits and vegetables have long been fermented in Africa to produce various fermented food products, beers, beverages, and substitute meals. It has as well contributed to improving the nutrition, food safety, and well-being of the populace, in addition to their social and cultural significance. In the literature, much has been published on different fermented cereals, legumes, and other agricultural commodities, however, there is limited information on fermented fruits and vegetables, particularly in Africa. This chapter consolidates knowledge on some important African fermented fruits and vegetables and highlights their significance as a potential source for nutrition, food security, and functional/nutraceutical qualities. Such knowledge is important in improving the fermentation process and exploiting the potential of the numerous African fruits and vegetables in the face of eminent food security and nutrition challenges on the continent.
|Title of host publication||Indigenous Fermented Foods for the Tropics|
|Place of Publication||South Africa|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published online - 8 Feb 2023|