What Is Bushera?
Made from the cereal sorghum, bushera is a malted drink that can be consumed fresh as a soft drink or fermented into an alcoholic beverage known as amamera. And its growing popularity is providing a lifeline to farmers across Uganda.
Procedure Of Bushera In Uganda
– Pour boiled cold water into a big open container
– Mix the flour in the water and stir until the flour dissolves, making a thick paste
– Pour boiling water into the paste and stir very fast to make porridge without lumps
– Leave it to cool (15 minutes).
– Add fermented millet flour. The fermented millet makes it sweet
– Stir to mix evenly and cover tightly in a bucket or a pot.
– Leave it to stay for a night and it will be ready to drink.
– Pour it in a jerrycan or a jar and store it in a fridge.
Production of Bushera In Uganda
The sorghum or millet flour is mixed with cooled boiled water to form a paste or slurry in a clay pot. Thereafter, more boiled water is added and the mixture is stirred and then boiled for about 2-5 minutes. The majority of the households (90%) boiled Bushera for 2-5 minutes and the remaining percentage indicated 15-30 minutes. After boiling,the mixture is then cooled, and germinated sorghum or millet flour or a mixture of both flours is added to initiate fermentation. The mixture is left to ferment at ambient temperature (27- 30°C).Some households (5%) add hot water directly to the flour instead of
cooled boiled water in a clay pot, while stirring continuously to form a paste, then more hot
water is added to obtain the required viscosity. The mixture is then left to cool and germinated sorghum flour is added to initiate fermentation.When a mixture of millet and sorghum flour is to be used to make Bushera, one or one and half parts of germinated sorghum is mixed with four parts of non-germinated or germinated millet flour and the procedure is followed as shown in Figure 1. However, if only non-germinated millet flour is used for Bushera production, malt of millet and sorghum (0.5-1.0 Kg) is added which is claimed to act as a sweetener and flavour enhancer.
What Is The Use Of Bushera?
The first step in making bushera is to mix hot water with sorghum flour, which is a source of B vitamins, iron, zinc and proteins. While research shows that sorghum may be useful in managing cholesterol and reducing the risk of diabetes, bushera manufacturers say that the nutrients found in sorghum also provide energy.
Fermentation of Bushera In Uganda
The households (100%) claimed that the production of Bushera from millet and sorghum is
basically done to increase sweetness, impart sour taste, reduce viscosity, and to give a good
flavour and improve the colour of the product. Fermentation is carried out in clay pots (20
litres) jerricans (20 litres) and plastic buckets (20 litres) at ambient temperature. The pots are
covered with winnowing trays to allow aeration during fermentation. Usually, the first day of
fermentation is performed in the clay pot and the Bushera is then transferred to plastic
buckets. Sixty percent of the households fermented Bushera using clay pots. The clay pots are
washed with cold or hot water whenever a new batch of Bushera is to be prepared.
Back-slopping was considered to lead to excessive sourness and low quality and was not
commonly practiced. However, some households (30%) district indicated that they
practiced back-slopping. The fermentation period differed depending on the type of Bushera
being produced, targeted consumers or consumer preference. For Sweet Bushera, the
fermentation period ranged between 12-24 h whereas for Sour Bushera the fermentation time
exceeded two days. Most of the households (90%) consumed Bushera after two-four days of
Uses of Bushera In Uganda
Bushera is commonly produced both for consumption and sale. The frequency of consumption in the different households ranged between 3-10 times per day. The consumption of sweet and Sour Bushera differed from household to household.Sour Bushera was indicated to be mainly consumed by older people. Sour Bushera is usually not given to children due to its sour taste and ethanol content. The children are often fed nonfermented Bushera from non-germinated millet or sorghum flour. Bushera from germinated millet or sorghum flour was often claimed by the mothers to cause stomach problems
(diarrhoea), poor growth, worms and malnutrition. This indicates the possible contamination
of Bushera by pathogens.
The families introduce Bushera as a weaning food in the children’s diets after age of 5- 7
months. From the survey, fermented Bushera was also indicated to be good for elderly people
and convalescents.Many housewives produced Bushera commercially on a small scale. The amount of Busherasold ranged from 20-160 litres per day depending on the consumer demand. The sale of
Bushera was indicated to be profitable and the greatest turnover being realized on local
market days. The age of the Bushera sold ranged between one to six days, with an average of
three days. Fermentation duration exceeding four days was indicated to lower acceptability of
Bushera due to over-souring (pH 3.5), maggot and worm infestation, which might as a result
of poor hygiene.
Protein In Bushera
The protein contents of germinated and non-germinated sorghum and millet flour ranged
from 7.2 to 10.8% (Table 1). The protein content of Bushera obtained from households varied
between 8.97±0.01 and 9.63±2.81% (Table 2). The protein content of Bushera (0 day) made
from germinated sorghum flour was found to be higher than that produced from nongerminated grains (Table 3). As fermentation progressed, protein content of Bushera from non-germinated sorghum flour increased whereas that of Bushera from germinated sorghum flour slightly decreased.
The carbohydrate content was highest in non-germinated grains (Table 1). The carbohydrate
content of germinated flours ranged between 77.7 and 80.9% whereas that of non-germinated
flour ranged between 80.2 and 85.7%. Millet flour obtained from both non-germinated and
germinated grains had the highest amounts of carbohydrate (85.7 and 80.9% respectively).
Flour from germinated grains had higher fibre content than flours obtained from nongerminated grains (Table 1). The fibre content of flour from non-germinated grains varied between 3.5 and 3.7% whereas that of germinated grains varied between 4.7 and 6.3%. Flour from germinated sorghum and millet grains had the highest amount of fibre (5.5 and 6.3%
Ash content Bushera
The ash content in all grain flours ranged from 2.1 to 4.9 % (Table 1). Germinated sorghum
flour had higher ash content (4.9%) than non-germinated flour. Germinated millet flour had a
lower ash content than flour from non-germinated millet grains. The fermentation process
had little effect on the ash content of Bushera (Table 3). The ash content of Bushera porridge
made from both germinated and non-germinated sorghum flour showed a slight decrease
during fermentation. Bushera from household had ash content varying between 2.94±0.01
and 3.32 ±0.26%.
The results in Table 4 show that germination resulted in an increased sugar concentration of
both sorghum and millet grains. Higher levels of maltose, glucose, and fructose were
observed in sorghum flour. The glucose content measured in non-germinated sorghum flour
was 463.5±67.17 mg kg-1 whereas that of germinated sorghum flour was 1873±64.35 mg kg1. The lowest amount of maltose was observed in flour from non-germinated sorghum and
millet (219.0±21.21mg kg-1 and 424.5±20.51mg kg-1, respectively).