Knowledge and Awareness about Health Benefits of indigenous fermented foods: A comprehensive study
Sasmita Sahoo, Dr. Chandrashree Lenka, Dr. Gayatri Biswal
Fermented foods are not exactly human inventions they are natural phenomena that people observe and then learn how to cultivate. It is a unique process with great potential which is an environment friendly process, consume less energy, produce less waste and easy to manage under house hold condition as well as in industrial scale. Fermentation of food offer immense opportunity for production of products which can be classified as “organic food and natural food”, “health food and convenience food”, ethnic food and functional food “ and not to forget’ “food for clinical nutrition” . Fermented foods are manufactured and consumed throughout the world. The foods such as cereals, pulses. Oat crops, vegetables, fruits, meat and fish are preserved by one or other method of fermentation. The objectives of the research were to study the knowledge about preparation of traditional methods of fermented foods and awareness about their health benefits used at house hold level by the homemaker. One hundred housewives were selected by random purposive sampling method for present study. The data was collected with the help of questionnaire cum interview method .Results of the study revealed that majority of the respondents were not aware about the term “fermented food” even though they use it in their day to day life. The most common fermented foods used at house hold level were Water rice (Pakhal), Pan Cake (Chakuli pitha, Chitau pitha), Curd, Torani kanji etc. Majority of the respondents used Water rice (Pakhal) as one of their staple food. Very few respondents were aware about health benefits of fermented foods. Most of them used fermented foods because of traditional practice. Fermented foods were seldom used by modern house wives because of lack of knowledge about their preparation, usage and nutritional value. However traditional preparation of those foods is largely uncontrolled and laid no guidelines are available. Further as people move from rural area to urban area they often give up traditional foods and inclined towards westernized foods. Thus steps should be taken to educate and create awareness among people regarding health benefits of the fermented foods for greater interest of the society.