Development of a new fermented food product from the underutilized Zamnè


Fermented FoodFamine foods are usually of low quality, only eaten when there is no other alternative. As of last resort, they remain overlooked, and the knowledge about them is rapidly disappearing.

However, climate change critically threatens food security in arid areas worldwide, bringing the so-called famine foods in the spotlight. At VEG-i-TEC (Ghent University Campus Kortrijk), in collaboration with University Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Burkina Faso), Ph.D. researcher Moustapha Soungalo Drabo explores the food potential and processability of Senegalia seeds into convenient foods for humans.

Senegalia species are endemic and quintessential trees in the drought and famine-prone areas in Africa, America, and Asia. They produce a considerable amount of seeds, but most species are only eaten as famine foods. Only two species (i.e., Zamnè and Kumatiya) have become delicacies in Burkina Faso and Rajasthan.

My research will allow substantiating the food potential of Senegalia seeds, improving environmental stewardship in the arid tropics, and developing novel food materials and products.

Funding: Ghent University -  Special Research Fund, Burkina Faso National Doctoral Scholarship & WAEMU Academic Excellence Grant