Probiotic Potential of Lactic Acid Bacteria from Fermented Porridge

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Ikii - A fermented porridge in Kenya

Ikii is a fermented maize grits porridge that is produced by the Kamba community in Kenya.

The product is a favourite amongst children, breastfeeding mothers, the aged but is generally consumed irrespective of age and gender.

It is a food that is commonly served to sick and recovering persons.

The product can store for as long as a week under ambient temperatures (20 -300c) without spoiling.

Fermented foods have been reported to have microorganisms that are useful to the host.

These microorganisms are referred to as probiotics.

The present study was carried out to enumerate, isolate, characterize and identify the microorganisms involved in production of ikii.

The isolated strains were thereafter assayed for potential probiotic attributes including: production of antimicrobial substances, acid/bile tolerance, gelatinase and haemolysis activity, utilization of prebiotics and production of exopolysaccharides.Results of the research findings are detailed with the conclussion that lactic acid bacteria are the dominant microorganisms that bring about the fermentation process leading to production of ikii and that some strains of L.

plantarum in ikii do possess probiotic potential.

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