The predominant acid-producing organism isolated from Nigerian cassava mixed fermentation cultures was Streptococcus faecium. Corynebacterium manihot was also abundant in the mixed cultures, but contrary to earlier reports, this organism grew slowly and lacked significant acid-producing capabilities. Cultural characteristics of S. faecium indicated that it was the primary fermentation organism in acidic cassava fermentations rather than the earlier indicated C. manihot. Diacetyl production in both milk cultures and fermented cassava was demonstrated for S. faecium. Detection of diacetyl in fermented cassava products indicated that S. faecium may also play an additional role in the flavor development of these products.

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Author notes

1Supported by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a grant from U.S.A.I.D.-University of Ife.

2On leave from: Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.