Adopting traditional fermented foods as carriers for probiotics: The case of Obushera and Lactobacillus rhamnosus yoba

Ivan Muzira Mukisa*, Stellah Byakika, Rehema Meeme, Alex Paul Wacoo, Wilbert Sybesma, Remco Kort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: Traditional fermented products can be adopted as probiotic carriers. This study was aimed at evaluating the potential of using Obushera, a traditional sorghum beverage from Uganda, as a carrier for Lactobacillus rhamnosus yoba. Design/methodology/approach: Probiotic Obushera was produced by fermenting sorghum malt with Lb. rhamnosus yoba 2012 and Streptococcus thermophilus C106 at 30 °C and at room temperature (21°C-25 °C) for 24 h. Acidity, pH, total soluble solids and microbial counts were monitored. Consumer acceptability and purchase index of probiotic Obushera were compared to four commercial non-probiotic brands. Shelf stability of probiotic Obushera was determined by monitoring changes in pH, acidity, soluble solids, microbial counts and consumer acceptability during refrigerated storage. Findings: Lactobacillus rhamnosus yoba 2012 multiplied and lowered the pH of Obushera from 5.3 to < 4.0 (p < 0.0001) whilst increasing acidity from 0.21 to 0.46 per cent (p < 0.0001) in 9 h at 30 °C. Consumer acceptability varied with Obushera brand (p < 0.0001). The overall acceptability score of probiotic Obushera (score of 6.4 = like slightly) was similar to that of the two most acceptable commercial brands (scores of 5.8 and 6.6). Acidity, pH and Lb. rhamnosus counts of probiotic Obushera varied within 0.6 per cent –1.05 per cent (p < 0.0001), 3.3–3.4 (p < 0.0001), and 8.2-9.2 log cfu/ml (p < 0.0001), respectively during two months of storage. The overall acceptability of probiotic Obushera (scores of 6.9-7.8) did not change significantly during storage (p = 0.185). Practical Implications: Traditional fermented foods such as Obushera can be adopted as carriers of probiotic microorganisms. Originality/value: Use of commercial probiotic strains in traditional fermented foods is a novel approach that can be adopted to improve safety of traditional fermentations and health of consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-852
Number of pages12
JournalNutrition and Food Science
Issue number5
Early online date4 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2020


  • Fermented cereal beverage
  • Lb. rhamnosus
  • Obushera
  • Probiotics
  • Sorghum


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