The seed of locust beans (Parkiabiglobosa) plant found
growing in the Savannah Africa provides one of the popular seasonings in
African diet. The nutritious and delicious food spice is popularly
called “ogiri” in Igbo, “iru” in Yoruba and “dawadawa” in Hausa in
Nigeria. It is heavily consumed in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierre Leone and Togo
(Odunfa, 1985). It serves as source of protein for most of the people
whose protein intake is low due to high cost of animal protein sources.
The African locust bean tree, Parkiabiglobosaare perennial
trees legumes which belongs to the sub-family mimosoideae and family
leguminosae (now family fabaceae). They grow in the Savannah region of
West Africa up to the southern edge of the Sahel zone 13°N
(Campbell-Platte, 1980). The plant occurs in a wide range of Natural
Savannah woodlands and ithas the capacity to withstand drought
conditions because of its deep tap root system (Nwadiaroet al., 2015).
A matured locust bean tree (20-30years) can bear about a ton and above
harvested fruits. From experience, the tree can start to bear fruits
from 5-7 years after planting (Musa, 1991). The African locust bean tree
grows to about 20m in height and has bark evergreen pinnate leaves. Its
fruit is a brown leathery pod of about 10-30cm long and contains gummy
pulps of an agreeable sweet taste, in which lie a number of seeds. It is
important indigenous multipurpose fruit tree. Parkiabiglobosa tree
plays vital ecological roles in recycling of nutrients from deep soil,
by holding soil particles to prevent soil erosion with the aid of its
roots. It also provides shade where it is found (Campbell-Platte, 1980).
This tree is protected by peasant farmers and rural dwellers for its
many benefits. Its wood is a source of fuel energy. It helps to enrich
the soils nutrient.
The most important use of African locust bean is found in its seed
which is a legume, although it has other food and non-food uses
especially the seeds which serve as a source of useful ingredients for
consumption (Campbell-Platte, 1980). It has been reported that the
locust bean is rich protein, carbohydrate, soluble sugars and ascorbic
acid. The cotyledon is very nutritious, has less fibre and ash content.
The oil content is suitable for consumption since it contains very low
acid and iodine contents. The oil has very high saponification and hence
would be useful in the soap industry (Alabiet al., 2005). It
has also been reported that the husks and pods are good for livestock
(Douglass, 1996; Obiazoba, 1998). The locust bean tree is also important
in medicinal practices in treatment of aliments such as bronchitis,
pneumonia, malaria, diarrhoea and as poison for sore eyes (Farombi,
Although microorganisms of all groups including bacteria, protozoa,
algae, viruses, fungi together with insects and rodents play significant
role in food deterioration, the most active and more versatile
organisms that affect locust bean seeds and its products causing
spoilage when stored are species of bacteria and fungi (Omafuvbeet al., 2000).
They can occur on growing crops as well as harvested commodities
leading to damage ranging from rancidity, odour and flavour changes and
germ layer destruction (Cutler, 1991). In a study to identify the
bacterial and fungal flora of deteriorated and maggot infested samples
of fermented locust bean seeds, the isolated fungal species were
identified as Aspergillusniger, Aspergillusflavus, Penicillium, Rhizopus and Candidaspecies. Parkiabiglobosa seeds
are subject to degradation induced by diverse organisms including fungi
which are among the most active microorganisms in these processes
(Popoola and Akueshi, 1985). Microorganisms associated with fermented
locust bean seeds have been widely studied (Odunfa, 1981; Ikenebomehet al., 1986;
Odunfa and Oyewole, 1986; Ogbadu and Okagbue, 1988). Bacilli and
Staphylococci were observed to dominate the fermentation together with a
number of fungal species causing deterioration of this especially in
storage in Northern Nigeria.
- This study is aimed at DETECTING THE FUNGI SPECIES INVOLVED IN PARKIABIGLOBOSASPOILAGE.
1.2 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
- To isolate and identify fungi associated with locust beans (Parkiabiglobosa).
- To determine the pH, moisture content and titratable acidity of locust beans.