Spontaneous lactic acid fermentation is an important process in cereal processing. It is applied to develop and enhance taste and flavour, modify texture and improve the microbial safety of foods. When applied to nixtamalized corn mixed with traditional steeped corn it is expected to further improve the functionality, improve nutritional quality and provide an alternative corn-based ingredient. The objective of this study was to investigate the chemical and functional properties of fermented blends of steeped and nixtamalized corn. A 3_5 factorial experimental design with fermentation time (0, 24, 48 h) and blends composition (0:100, 25:75, 50:50, 75:25, 100:0 steeped:nixtamalized corn) was performed. The blends were fermented for the specific times and analysed for pH, titratable acidity, water absorption, texture and viscosity. The pH of all the blends decreased with a corresponding increase in titratable acidity as fermentation time was increased. Decreases in water absorption capacity, texture, colour and cooked paste viscosity were measured in all the blends with increasing fermentation time. The cooled paste viscosity of the blends containing 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100 of steeped:nixtamalized corn showed decreases from 1840 to 780, 650 to 240 and 2240 to 1790 BU, respectively, after 48 h of fermentation. The sample derived from 100% steeped corn, however, showed increases in water absorption capacity, texture and cooked paste viscosity with increasing fermentation time. Nixtamalized corn can be subjected to spontaneous fermentation to produce thin, energy dense gruels of acceptable qualities to solve the low energy density problem of weaning foods prepared from fermented corn.
- Corn; Fermentation; Nixtamalization; Chemical properties; Functional properties
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