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Diagnostic of the Cooking and Storage Systems of a Cassava-Derived Food Locally Called “fufu” in the City of Yaoundé, Cameroon

, Annick Manuela Bengue Baomog, Raissa Hermine Hell, Hippolyte Tene Mouafo, Maxwell Wandji Nguedjo, Alex Dimitri Kamgain Tchuenchieu, Gabriel Nama Medoua

Abstract: Fufu is among the most consumed traditional dishes derived from cassava in Cameroon. However, the processing of cassava into flour used in the preparation of fufu, the home storage of that flour and the cooking practices might lead to microbial contamination and hence constitute a potential health risk for consumers. The aim of this study was to diagnose the cooking systems of fufu in the city of Yaoundé taking into consideration the processing of granules, its storage systems and the cooking practices. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the city of Yaoundé. A total of 74 participants were submitted to a survey by the means of a structured questionnaire. Information on the socio-demographic characteristics of the population, the nature and quality of raw material used to cook fufu, the cooking processes, the storage of cooked fufu and complaints associated with the consumption of fufu were collected and statistically analyzed. Results showed that the majority of participants were women (82.4%) with university education level (73%). Most of the participants preferred granules of fermented cassava as raw material. The odor was the main purchasing criteria of raw materials which were generally stored at room temperature (25±2°C) in the household for 1 to 2 weeks. 76.05% of participants were aware of the impact of microorganisms on the color and odor of the raw material. Two cooking processes of fufu were identified, the heating duration being the main difference. The majority of participants used a heating duration of less than 15 min as it leads to slightly rigid, less elastic and not sticky fufu highly appreciated in the Centre and Sud regions of Cameroon. Leftovers fufu eaten by participants without any heating process and leftovers fufu reheated for a short duration before being consumed might be the causes of digestive troubles associated with its consumption. Prospective studies should be conducted to optimize the cooking process of fufu taking into consideration its microbiological (sporulated microflora) and sensorial quality.
Keywords: Cassava / Storage systems / traditional dish / fufu / cooking systems / health risk

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