The effects of malting and fermentation on some chemical and functional properties of maize grains were determined. White maize kernels (variety TZW, 2005 harvest) were germinated over a period of 96 h and flours of 72 h germinated grains were fermented by back-slopping. Analysis of the selected physico-chemical parameters of the resulting samples were carried out using standard analytical methods. Germination of grains resulted in significant (p<0.05) increase in crude protein, total soluble sugars and reducing sugars up to 72 h and ash content. Conversely, there was significant decrease (p<0.05) in crude fat and carbohydrates during this period. After 72 h, protein and crude fibre content reduced slightly, while carbohydrate, crude fat and ash increased though not significantly (p>0.05). There was also a significant decrease (p<0.05) in pH (6.80-5.94) as germination progressed while there was a gradual increase in TTA which was not significant (p>0.05). Accelerated natural fermentation of the maize flour also showed a similar trend for all the parameters. Malting and fermentation gave rise to decrease in packed bulk density (1.17-0.54 g mL-1) swelling index (6.47-3.46 mL g-1) and viscosity (343.33-288.26 cP) while increasing the water absorption capacity (3.70-3.92 g g-1) and reconstitution index (4.82-6.40 mL g-1). There was also a significant reduction in tannin content (2.62-0.42 g/100 g), phytates (2.30-0.84 g/100 g), oxalates (2.32-0.34 g/100 g), cyanide content (2.20-0.42 mg/100 g) and fibre (2.12-1.11 g/100 g).
D.I. Gernah, C.C. Ariahu and E.K. Ingbian, 2011. Effects of Malting and Lactic Fermentation on Some Chemical and Functional Properties of Maize (Zea mays). American Journal of Food Technology, 6: 404-412.