Fermented foods are those processed through the activities of microorganisms. Soy milk is an aqueous extract from soybeans known for its nutritive health benefits. The aim of this work is to ferment soy milk product with starter culture (lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus) to prolong its shelf life. The soy bean was purchased from Ogbete main market located at Enugu North in Enugu state. It was immediately transferred to Godfrey Okoye University microbiology laboratory, where it was processed into soymilk. The processed product was pasteurized for 30mins, allowed to cool and added either milk or sugar as a carbon source before fermenting anaerobically with the starter culture (lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus) gotten from Aqua Rapha Company, Ninth mile, Enugu. Temperature and pH variations of fermented soymilk samples (soymilk with both organisms, mixed with milk and sugar respectively, soymilk with both organism mixed with either milk or sugar respectively) were determined. Sample containing both organisms with milk and sugar respectively, have the highest temperature (80c) on day one and were slightly acidic (4.30), while sample containing both organism and sugar has the highest temperature (60c) on the last day and are slightly acidic (4.25). Proximate analysis of this various soymilk samples were determined. Sample containing both organisms and sugar has the highest protein content (3.678%) while the control shows the least value (0.347%). Sensory evaluation showed that the product fermented with both organisms with milk and sugar was more acceptable than all other samples. Shelf life of these products were determined for 6 days. All the samples were acceptable from 0-3 days, but from the 4-5th day, sample 1 has a pungent smell and was not acceptable while sample 7 was able to retain its aroma and flavor. This is to show that starter culture fermentation was able to improve the shelf life and organoleptic properties for better acceptability.



Soymilk is a rich creamy liquid extract of soybean (Glycine max) (Tunde-Akintunde and Souley, 2009) and is the most available soy product. Soymilk is a popular nutritive beverage alternative to cow’s milk and is even cheaper(Soya-Agrodok, 2005). Soymilk has become a very interesting food due to its extraordinary nutritive value and health characteristics. It is a very rich source of highly valuable proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, soluble and insoluble dietary fibres, and isoflavones whose presence in everyday diet is very important (Boani, 2006). In some countries, soymilk is intended for the population who cannot digest milk due to lactose intolerance, allergy to milk proteins, or vegetarian way of diet. Soymilk has limited consumer acceptability due to its undesirable beanyflavour. to improve its acceptability due to reduction in objectionable flavour and oligosaccharides such as starchyose and raffinose that cause flatulence (Wang et al., 2002). (Akabandaet al. 2010) reported that fermentation of soymilk provides a possibility for modifying or improving its flavour and texture so that it becomes more acceptable. In western countries, soymilk is intended forpopulation who cannot digest milk for reasons like lactose intolerance, allergy to milk proteins, or vegetarian way of diet. Fermenting soymilk with lactic acid bacteria considerably increases its health value. Because of greater antioxidative actions (Wang etal. 2006), they are considered healthier than pure soymilk. The purpose of fermentation is to remove the undesirable beany taste which is mostly due to the presence of n-hexanal and pentanal , and to improve on the nutritional characteristics of soymilk. Several studies (Hong et al., 2004; Song et al., 2008) have reported numerous benefits of fermented soymilk including degradation of soybean allergens during fermentation by proteolytic enzymes. Due to the characteristics of milk that is highly perishable, the purpose of milk fermentation using lactic acid bacteria is to prolong its shelf life as well as to preserve the nutritious component of milk.

 Development of a beanyflavour during processing of soy milk has limited its use amongst populations. Thus much effort has been directed toward elimination of beanyflavour in processing of soy milk. Heating of the soybeans either before or during initial processing to inactivate lipoxygenase and the use of fermentation has been used to stop undesirable flavours in soymilk. The heating process during conventional soy milk making considerably destroys most of the anti-nutritional factors in soy milk and improves the digestibility of soy protein, as well. However, compounds, like phytic acid, which interferes with the availability of calcium, is not reduced effectively (Onourahet al., 2007). At the same time, over-heating to eliminate trypsin inhibitor activity to a great extent can cause damage to amino acids, as well as loss in the overall nutritional value of soy milk. Incorporating the fermentation process into soy milk production has become a popular method to improve the acceptability and health properties of soy milk.

1.2 AIM
      The aim of this study is to examine the effect of starter culture (lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus) in the fermentation of soymilk.

      To examine the effect of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus in the soymilk mixed with milk respectively.
      To know the effect of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilusin the soymilk mixed with sugar respectively.
      To know the effect of both organisms (lactobacillus bulgaricusand streptococcus thermophilus)in the soymilk mixed with sugar and milk respectively.
      To examine the proximate analysis of both fermented and non-fermented soymilk
      To examine the sensory evaluation of the fermented soymilk product.

      Determination of shelf life of the final product.

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