Indigenous Methods in Preserving Bush Mango Kernels in Cameroon
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Copyright: © 2020 Zac Tchoundjeu, Alain Rene Atangana and Ann Degrande. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Traditional practices for preserving Irvingia wombolu and Irvingia gabonensis (bush mango) kernels were assessed in a survey covering twelve villages (Dongo, Bouno, Gribi [East], Elig-Nkouma, Nkom I, Ngoumou [Centre], Bidjap, Nko’ovos, Ondodo [South], Besong-Abang, Ossing and Kembong [Southwest]), in the humid lowland forest zone of Cameroon. All the interviewed households that own trees of species were found to preserve kernels in periods of abundance, excluding Elig-Nkouma (87.5%). Eighty nine and 85% did so in periods of scarcity for I. wombolu and I. gabonensis respectively. Seventeen and twenty-nine kernel preservation practices were recorded for I. wombolu and I. gabonensis respectively. Most were based on continuous heating of the kernels or kernel by-products (cakes). The most commonly involved keeping the sun-dried kernels in a plastic bag on a bamboo rack hung above the fireplace in the kitchen. A 78% of interviews households reported preserving I. wombolu kernels for less than one year while 22% preserved it for more than one year with 1.9% for two years, the normal length of the off-season period for trees in the wild. Cakes wrapped with leaves and kept on a bamboo rack hung over the fireplace were reported by households in the East and South provinces to store Irvingia gabonensis longer (more than one year). Further studies on the utilization of heat for preserving and canning bush mango kernels are recommended.
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