Binyavanga Adamson Muliro
Many spontaneously fermented milk products are produced in Kenya, where they are integral to human diet and play a central role in enhancing food security and income generation. Some of these products have demonstrated therapeutic and probiotic effects although recent reports have linked some to death, biotoxin infections, and esophageal cancer. These products are mostly processed from poor quality raw materials under unhygienic conditions resulting to inconsistent product quality and limited shelf-lives. Though very popular, research on their processing technologies is low. This review provides a comprehensive summary of the most common spontaneously fermented milk products from Kenya including Mursik, Kule naoto, Amabere amaruranu and Suusa. Their production challenges and future perspectives are highlighted; emphasizing the need for application of high throughput biotechnologies in their study. Available literature on their microbiology, biochemistry, and chemical composition is summarized. Moreover, knowledge on the value of clean starting raw material, fermentation parameters definition, and employment of standard equipment are discussed.