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Microbial load of African fermented oil bean seed ( pentalethra macrophylla bentham) was studied. A total of four locally fermented samples of oil bean seed wrapped with traditional leaves called ‘ororompo leave’ were used. The four locally fermented samples were randomly purchase from different markets in Imo State which include Eke Onunwa, Orji market, Relief market, Orie Ekwe, and then taken aseptically to the laboratory for preparation and microbiological analysis, the sample Eke Onunwa, Orji market, Relief market. The microorganisms identified were identified as Bacillus sp, Mucor sp, Aspergillus sp, Proteus sp, Staphylococcus sp, Escherichia Coli, Micrococcus sp and Candida sp. There was no remarkable change in the organisms, except for the increase in number and it was observed that as time increases the colour and texture of the ugba changes from soft, light brown to dark brown, Very soft and very slimy the last day of fermentation.







Ugba is a fermented product from African oil bean seed Pentaclethra macrophylla Benth, a woody plant predominant in the rain forest areas of West and Central Africa belonging to the family Leguminosaea, sub-family Mimosoidae (Keay, 1989). Ugba is of primary importance as cheap and easily available source of plant protein in developing countries of the world and Africa in particular. Fermented seeds are not just palatable but serve as a delicacy amongst consuming regions where it is consumed garnished with other vegetables or staples. Consumption of ugba seeds could pose as a means of addressing the prevailing Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) in developing countries (Enujiugha and Akanbi, 2008).

Preparation of ugba is by mixed fermentation carried out spontaneously by a number of microorganisms. Microorganisms isolated from fermented ugba include Micrococcus sp., Lactobacilli, Staphyloccus sp., Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Proteus and E. coli (Isu and Njoku, 1997; Mbata and Orji, 2008; Obeta, 1983). The major problem with the fermented oil bean seed ugba is the restricted availability due to its very short shelf life. Under room temperature, fermented ugba spoils within three to four days. Spoilage is identified with increased softness (Enujiugha et al., 2008), color change, off flavor and sliminess (Mbata and Orji, 2008) and production of pungent ammonical odor (Ogbulie et al., 1993).

Extending the shelf life of ugba has been a case of interest to many researchers. Reports on strategies to extend the shelf life of fermented ugba include treatment with varying concentrations of sodium chloride (Ogbulie et al., l993), preservation in high density polyethylene sachets and aluminum foil wraps (Ogbulie et al., 1998), canning within tomato puree, brine solution or refined groundnut oil (Enujiugha and Akanbi, 2005) and use of starter cultures to shorten period of fermentation (Mbata and Orji, 2008). The deterrent in the methods reported so far include the cost of implementation, no remarkable difference in shelf life extension and lack of ease in method application making it difficult or impossible for local commercial dealers to implement such methods.

A key selling point to using fermented oil bean seed ugba to address Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) issues is the ease of process adoption by local producers. Advocating for commercialization of this process though commended may inadvertently lead to a hike in product prize making this rich source of protein unavailable to the impoverished that are direly in need of the nutrients, which this can provide. A concise knowledge of the spoilage associations of fermented oil bean seed will enable the identification of the chief sources of spoilage and therefore help to identify simpler techniques to address spoilage problems.



This study is aimed to at determining the microbial load of African fermented oil bean seed (Pentaclethra macrophylla bentham).


The objectives are stated thus;

  • Determination of microbial load on fermented African oil bean (Pentaclethra macrophylla bentham)
  • Isolation of microorganisms associated with fermented African oil bean (Pentaclethra macrophylla bentham)
  • Characterization of microorganisms associated with fermented African oil bean (Pentaclethra macrophylla bentham)




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