Nigerian Food Processing
of life of any society. Technically speaking, the term applies
to a complex system which includes methods of doing
things, patterns of behavior, attitudes, values, knowledge
and material objects which are shared and transmitted
from generation to generation. Nigeria is rich in cultures
because of the great diversity of her people.Massive
development of research institutions in recent times
has prompted a continuing interest in the scientific basis
of many cultural practices.
organisms). This group of living organisms have considerable
influence on human life and activity. It is not surprising: they
inhabit animate and inanimate environments such as that
of men and women and other living things (e.g crops and livestock),
soil, water and air. ln these habitats, their (microbial) physical
presence and/or their activities affect man directly or in-
directly. For example, they affect human and animal health,
soil fertility and agricultural productivity, environmental
pollution, shelf-life and quality of foods, wood, leather, etc.
Ultimately, material well-being, perceptions and attitudes
(towards health and disease, dirt and cleanliness plenty
and want) -all of which are aspects of culture, may be deter-
mined or influenced by the nature and activity of micro-
organisms.Since microbes and their activities are often difficult
to observe and appreciate, we are often unaware of their
influences on culture. These facts not withstanding, several
cultural practices designed to preserve food and other materials
such as leather, wood, etc., or to protect the health of humans,
livestock and crops, are directed towards relevant microbial
agents. For example, the efficacy of certain herbs traditionally
used in foods and medicines has been shown to be due to
the activity of specific chemical components of herbs against
some pathogenic and food spoilage micro-organisms.
understanding the production and quality of some
African foods and beverages such as dawadawa,
palmwine and burukutu beer. Traditional prod-
uction of the foods and beverages depends on
micro-organisms, especially yeasts and bacteria
which producers utilize in appropriate processes.
In Nigeria, appropriate technology for selection
of growth of desirable strains of micro-organisms
were developed over many centuries through system-
atic practical experience.
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