Fermented foods: Ogiri – Newspaper Punch


Recently, There has been a series of controversial publications and debates about the use of seasoning cubes and MSG as they are believed to be carcinogens. So this led me to have conversations with Ms. Titilola Muhalli, a spice formulator and the CEO of Titlas Organics Food and Spice. I wanted her to shed some light on the use of natural herbs and spices as a food seasoning.

Out of curiosity, I asked him if we could completely stop using ‘maggi’ cubes and replace them with spices. She told me that it was possible and that we could start by reducing the amount of “maggi” that we use. She also said that spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, cilantro, fennel, nutmeg, rosemary, celery, parsley, chives, onions, walnuts gourd nutmeg (ehuru), black pepper, black pepper can be used as seasonings. Even mushrooms and carobs are on the list of things she mentioned that can be used as a healthy alternative choice of food seasoning.

This week, ogiri is the fermented food I’m going to tell you about. Are you already pinching your nose? It is true that it has a pungent smell, but despite this smell, it has many health benefits. It is a condiment made from fermented oil seeds such as sesame, melon, African bean, castor oil, soybean, ugwu and more. In one of the studies I will cite, the results showed that soy ogiri contains as much protein as meat and contains unsaturated fats that are useful to the body. Much like the ogiri from melon seeds, it improves the taste and nutrients of delicacies when used. The Ogiri has a pasty gray and oily consistency. It is commonly used in eastern and western Nigeria. The names are derived from the region of origin. For example, there are ogiri-Igbo and ogiri-Ijebu. It is mainly added to soups to give them a traditional flavor.

I had some discussions with Ms. Chioma Ehirim, a food vendor who also sells condiments, including ogiri. She told me that ogiri-Igbo is a major ingredient used in the preparation of abacha and soups like oha, egusi, onugbu, ogbono, banga, ofe Owerri, utazi, uziza and bitter leaf soups. She said it was a major ingredient in the preparation of abacha, especially for the Okigwe, Anambra and Nsukka. She went further, saying it’s good for diabetics, lowers cholesterol, helps promote good eyesight, helps digestion, and is used to treat strokes and high blood pressure.

Traditional fermented foods like ogiri help the body make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps the transmission of nerve impulses. As part of digestion, it helps increase bowel movement and may help reduce constipation. It also helps improve the release of digestive juices and enzymes from the stomach, pancreas, and gallbladder. They are beneficial for people with diabetes. In addition to improving pancreatic function, which is of great benefit to diabetics, the carbohydrates in lactic acid fermented foods have been broken down or “pre-digested.” As a result, they do not place an additional burden on the pancreas.

Scientific studies

1: The possibility of replacing castor bean with soybean to obtain an acceptable ogiri was explored in a study entitled “Nutritional properties of the indigenous fermented condiment (ogiri) produced from the partial substitution of the castor bean (Ricinus communis ) by soybean (Glycine max) seeds’ by Okwunodulu et al. Protein and fiber have been increased. The carbohydrate content has decreased. The levels of minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc have increased. Potassium was the most abundant mineral in the sample. In addition, vitamins B1, B2, B3, vitamins C and E also increased significantly. Therefore, substituting soybeans up to 50 percent resulted in a better acceptable ogiri with improved nutrient contents.

2: In a study titled “Production of a soup condiment (ogiri ugu) from fluted pumpkin seeds using Bacillus subtilis” by Chika Ogueke, the result shows that it is rich in protein, thus serving a dual objective of flavor and source of protein supplement.

3: In another study titled “Study on the Nutritional and Chemical Composition of ‘Ogiri’ Condiment made from Sandbox Seeds (Hura crepitans) Affected by Fermentation Time” by Ahaotu et al, the study found that sandbox seeds (Hura crepitans) may have good potential for use in the production of fermented condiments, thus finding their way into the annals of the condiment substrate. This is demonstrated in the immediate analysis, which found that the product contained a considerable amount of useful nutritional substances (crude protein, fat, ash and carbohydrate) with crude fiber, which helps with digestibility, lowering blood cholesterol. and reducing the risk of cancer of the large intestine. The high oil content and the high presence of terpenoids in sandbox seed ogiri shows that the fermented condiment could have high nutraceutical potential if further investigated. The seed could therefore be used as one of the underutilized food sources to solve the problem of malnutrition in third world countries.

4: In a study titled “Biochemical and microbiological evaluation of the effect of treatment on Cucumeropsis manni” by Ileola et al, the conclusion is that the immediate composition of raw, boiled and fermented melon seeds showed that Cucumeropsis melon seeds manni are nutritious, especially in protein and fat, but not a good source of vitamin B complex. In addition, the study found that processing increases nutritional composition and reduces anti-nutritional factors in melon seeds. Generally, fermented seeds of Cucumeropsis mannii have the highest saccharide content while glucose is significantly different from other sugars analyzed. Therefore, the results of this research have shown that Cucumeropsis mannii melon seeds, although underutilized, can be a good substitute in food formulations.

5: The knowledge and acceptability of ogiri made from melon and soybeans in the Ondo West local government area of ​​Ondo State was investigated in a study titled “Awareness of health benefits. health and acceptability of Ogiri made from melon and soybeans ”by Olarewaju Cecilia Abiodun of the Department of Home Economics, Adeyemi College of Education. The conclusion is that the nutritional content and acceptability of ogiri made from melon seeds and that made from soybeans were similar. Ogiri made from soybeans was as acceptable in the Ondo West local government area as ogiri made from melon seeds. Soy can be used in the preparation of ogiri condiments, it is very nutritious, delicious and acceptable. Soy-based ogiri can compete advantageously with melon seed based ogiri in terms of nutritional content and acceptability. It is therefore recommended that ogiri growers use soybeans in the production of ogiri in order to reduce the burden on melon seeds.

At this point, it’s obvious that soy is in the lead. At least by now we all know that despite its bad fame it can still be eaten and all of its health benefits can be enjoyed if it goes through fermentation. If I have to make a homemade ogiri I would definitely use soy as all of these studies tout it as more nutritious. I have a video for you on how to make ogiri with egusi. If you’re interested, I’m just texting you away. If you like to make your ogiri from soybeans, this video will be a guide.

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