Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
In this doctoral thesis Bassirou Ndoye describes the isolation and description of bacterial strains suitable for the production of vinegar from local products under tropical conditions in sub-Saharan countries such as Burkina Faso and Senegal. Because the strains selected can grow and can produce vinegar at higher temperatures compared to traditional bacterial strains, there is less need for refrigeration and the process of fermentation is made more energy-efficient and sustainable. The selection of suitable strains is in itself meritorious, but is only a stepping-stone to the final goal of the thesis. This is to show through fermentations on a pilot scale that the concept proposed really works and is practicable for the local production of vinegar. Attention is also given to another possible problem, that of the storage and perishability of the bacterial starter cultures.
The developmental relevance of the thesis is clear and is always at the forefront of the work: vinegar is an important and much-used food ingredient in the countries of this region, but for the most part it is currently imported. The new bacterial strains and the newly developed process can reduce dependence on imported acetic acid. Given the relatively low threshold for implementation, the new process can make a significant contribution to the reduction of poverty. The work has in the meantime already led to the establishment of a production unit for mango vinegar in Senegal.
From a more fundamental scientific perspective the work is innovative and of high quality. The detailed study of the numerous microbial strains isolated produces many new insights into the qualities and the behaviour of this remarkable group of bacteria. In the framework of a doctorate with applied finality, the research carried out is of very high quality across the board, and the crown of the work is the publication of the research results in four articles in reputable international journals in the field.
report: Prof. Chris Michiels, Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium