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Microbial and Chemical Diversity of Traditional Non-Cereal Based Alcoholic Beverages of Sub-Saharan Africa

Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Private Bag 16, Central District, Palapye, Botswana
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Beverages 2018, 4(2), 36;
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 March 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
PDF [33922 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


Fermentation remains an important food preparation technique of health, cultural and economic importance throughout the world. In Sub-Saharan Africa, traditional alcoholic fermentation of cereal and non-cereal based substrates into alcoholic beverages is deeply rooted in the society. Although a multitude of traditional alcoholic beverages from cereal substrates are well researched and documented, their non-cereal based counterparts, mostly produced from indigenous, inexpensive substrates, remain less well studied. In addition, reports of health problems associated with non-cereal based alcoholic beverages produced from spontaneous fermentation are a major cause of concern. This review aims to highlight the microbiological and chemical profiles of these non-cereal based alcoholic beverages with a focus on the Sub-Saharan region. Here, we underscore the importance of the microbial repertoire and the substrates thereof in attaining aromatic complexity and a characteristic taste in these beverages. These aspects are an important starting point towards the potential commercialization of these complex aromatic non-cereal based traditional beverages. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-cereal; fruit; beverage; fermentation; microbes; metabolites non-cereal; fruit; beverage; fermentation; microbes; metabolites

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Motlhanka, K.; Zhou, N.; Lebani, K. Microbial and Chemical Diversity of Traditional Non-Cereal Based Alcoholic Beverages of Sub-Saharan Africa. Beverages 2018, 4, 36.

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