“Kenkey‟ is an important food to the Ghanaian community with relatively lower shelf life. In the face of modern day consumer‟s quest for convenience, it is imperative that studies be conducted to extend the shelf life of the product. This work sought to vacuum package „Fanti kenkey‟ to extend its shelf life. One hundred and twelve (112) „Fanti kenkey‟ samples were used for the study. The samples were divided into two and one part vacuum packaged. Each was then stored under ambient and refrigerated condition for 28 days. Samples (4 for each treatment) were picked at four (4) days interval for physicochemical and microbial load determination. Results from the parameters determined were then used to predict shelf life of the samples using statsgraphic centurion version 18. Physicochemical changes such as water activity and moisture did not have any significant relationship on the shelf life as days increase. Hence, they were not used in the shelf life prediction. In contrast, changes based on pH and yeast and molds had significant effect on the shelf life of „Fanti kenkey‟ as days increase and therefore were used as major parameters for shelf life prediction. Shelf life predictions base on pH stored under four different treatments had approximately 29 days, 25 days, 24 days and 12 days for unvacuum package refrigerated condition, vacuum package ambient condition, vacuum package refrigerated and unvacuum package ambient respectively. On the other hand, shelf life prediction base on yeast and molds recorded the highest shelf life of about 30days for vacuum packaged „Fanti kenkey‟ stored under refrigerated condition and 25 days for vacuum packaged „Fanti kenkey‟ stored under normal ambient. Unvacuum packaged „Fanti kenkey‟ stored under refrigerated condition and unvacuum package „Fanti kenkey‟ stored under ambient recorded 9 days and 5 days respectively. In conclusion, vacuum packaging has the potential to increase shelf life of „Fanti-kenkey‟ and could be exploited to satisfy the busy modern day people and enhance its appeal by local and international consumers.

1.1 Background
Maize is the main cereal crop produced in Ghana and also one of the crops that is most extensively processed into a wide variety of traditional products (SRID, 2011). Kenkey is fermented maize dumpling produced by traditional food processors. It has moisture content between 52-55 % with pH around 3.7 and a shelf life of 3-4 days (Halm et al., 2004a). „Fanti kenkey‟ has socio-economic importance of being a source of livelihood for many families engaged in its production and retailing, and an affordable principal meal consumed regularly by a large segment of the Ghanaian population. It is a vital diet in the food for people with low income and serves as an affordable heavy meal, which provides a feeling of satiety (Halm et al., 2004). In view of the socio-economic importance of Kenkey and its standing among other traditional foods, it is critical that Kenkey does not become marginalized in the face of economic development, modernization and the advent of foreign fast foods. Consequently, scientific investigations has been done on indigenous African fermented foods in the last few decades. Much of the research effort on Kenkey focused on the microbiological and physicochemical changes that occur during fermentation and at other stages of processing as well as management of the safety of the product during processing (Amponsah, 2010; Annan, 2002; Halm, 2006). Some of these researches have led to recommendations for improved methods for steeping, fermentation, cooking and packaging of „kenkey‟ (Nche et al., 1996). Since Kenkey processing is largely artisanal and the operations are not formally standardized, the important areas for ensuring compliance with HACCP and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) have been identified (Amoa-Awua, 1996). Most of the above studies have been carried out with the view of upgrading the procedures for the standardization of Kenkey production, even targeting industrial production to satisfy its high demand. Several factors threaten Kenkey‟s continued relevance and sustainability in the Ghanaian society and economy. These include changing trends in the food habits of the younger urban population who are attracted to trendy fast food restaurants. Based on these considerations, this work sought to vacuum package „Fanti Kenkey‟ to extend its shelf life such that it would have both local and international consumer appeal and convenience

1.2 Problem Statement
Despite the socio-economic importance of „Fanti kenkey‟, it has a very short shelf life, which does not permit consumers who shop periodically to purchase them in bulk and store for a longer time. There is limited information on the exploitation of other packaging materials and methods that would make „Fanti kenkey‟ convenient and appealing to both local and international consumers.

1.3 Justification
This work will provide information on enhanced means of extending shelf life of „Fanti kenkey‟ by vacuum packing and also adding value to it in terms of convenience and appeal. These could draw favorable interest and attention to „Fanti kenkey‟ both locally and internationally.

1.4 Objective
To investigate the shelf life of vacuum packaged „Fanti kenkey‟

1.5 Specific Objective
To vacuum packaged „Fanti kenkey‟ and study its shelf life

To determine the physico-chemical changes (pH, moisture and water activity) and microbial load (yeast and moulds) of stored vacuum packaged „Fanti kenkey‟

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 51 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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