Storage stability of improved dambu produced from different cereal grains

H.O. Agu (Department of Food Science and Technology, Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Nigeria, and)
I.A. Jideani (Biological Sciences Programme, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria)
I.Z. Yusuf (Biological Sciences Programme, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Publication date: 12 September 2008



The aim of this paper is to evaluate the storage stability of improved dambu, a steamed granulated dumpling product generally made from millet, was produced from maize (Zea mays), millet (Pennisetum glaucum), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and acha (Digitaria exilis). It is a popular mid‐day meal of the Fulanis of Nigeria normally sprinkled into fermented skimmed milk or whole milk and sugar may be added to taste.


Improved dambu was prepared in the laboratory using decorticated clean cereal grains which were pulverished into coarse particles, mixed with spices, preservative (sorbic acid) and water and steamed for 20 min. The improved dambu products were packaged in low‐density polyethylene (LDPE), LDPE with plastic and LDPE with paperboard and stored at room temperature (25 C) for six days. Analysis was carried out on the products following documented and established procedures.


Data obtained indicated that during storage, pH decrease was observed while titratable acidity increased for improved dambu products. The microbial load (cfu/g) increased with storage time for all the products packaged in LDPE, LDPE with plastic and LDPE with paperboard. Dambu has a limited storage life of one day at room temperature (25 C) and four days with 0.2 per cent (w/w) sorbic acid as preservative. Micro‐organisms of significance in the products are Aspergillus sp, Penicillum sp, Candida sp, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacter aerogenes. The nature of the microflora suggested that dambu is a good substrate for fungal growth. In the comparative study of dambu products with and without sorbic acid, there was no significant difference in the mean scores for all the assessed parameters.

Research limitations/implications

The consumption of dambu from different cereal grains is encouraged especially where a particular cereal is off season. The shelf‐life of dambu was extended to four days by using 0.2 per cent (w/w) sorbic acid as preservative and packaged in LDPE with plastic and LDPE with paperboard. Further research should be carried out to extend the shelf‐life more.

Practical implications

The findings have suggested that dambu is necessary to cereal industry and baby foods (weaning foods).


The results of this research contributes to the knowledge of cereal meals, especially those that are indigenous to Nigeria and West Africa.



Agu, H., Jideani, I. and Yusuf, I. (2008), "Storage stability of improved dambu produced from different cereal grains", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 458-472.

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