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Food Res Int. 2016 Nov;89(Pt 1):806-811. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2016.10.016. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

Nutritional and chemical properties of fermented food of wild and cultivated genotypes of enset (Ensete ventricosum).

Author information

1
Department of Plant Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia; Department of Horticulture, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia.
2
Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
3
Department of Plant Sciences, Haramaya University, Ethiopia.
4
Department of Plant Sciences, Hawassa University, Ethiopia.
5
Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; IFM Biology, Linköping University, Sweden. Electronic address: email@lailakarlsson.se.

Abstract

The multipurpose crop enset (Ensete ventricosum) has been traditionally cultivated in Ethiopia since ancient times. The main food product is the starch-rich fermented kocho made from the pseudostem and corm. There are many vegetatively propagated landraces utilised by farmers, but no concisions breeding have taken place, and there are requests for improved cultivars. There are also populations of wild ensets which propagate sexually, and the variation in characteristics among the wild is not studied. We suggest investigating the variation among the wild, in order utilise the most proper combinations of parent plants when breeding for different purposes. We analysed kocho, after 30 and 90days of fermentation, from three wild genotypes and three cultivars, to compare how and how much they differ in components and perceived food quality. The three cultivars scored generally higher than all the three wild genotypes for protein, fat, sugar and minerals, while the wild had larger fraction of starch. On average, panellists rated all the cultivated significantly higher than all the wild regarding the investigated characteristics (colour, texture, taste and overall). However, there were nine out of 25 panellists who rated at least one wild genotype higher or equal to at least one cultivar regarding taste, showing that people can be open for unfamiliar kocho. Therefore, we conclude that further investigations of the variation among wild plants should be done, aiming to get a larger gene pool with improved characteristics as e.g. disease tolerance or superior mineral uptake; by careful selection of parent plants, desired combinations can be achieved.

KEYWORDS:

Consumer perception; Drought tolerant crop; Ethiopia; Fermented food; Indigenous crop; Kocho

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