Banana and Plantain (Musaspp.) Cultivar Preference, Local Processing Techniques and Consumption Patterns in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
BERGH, I. V. D.
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This cross-sectional study carried out in North Kivu (NK) and South Kivu (SK) of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo aimed to identify the most preferred Musa cultivars, their processing/cooking methods and Musa consumption patterns among rural households. Our results showed that the preferred cooking banana varieties included yellow-pulped AAA-East African Highland bananas [EAHB] ‘Nshikazi’ (SK) and ‘Vulambya’ (NK), which were valued for their cooking qualities, large bunches and suitability for production of banana beer. The preferred plantains were orange-pulped and included ‘Musheba’ (SK) and ‘Musilongo’ (NK) and were preferred for their short maturation period, large bunches and higher market prices. Over 60% of the households examined had consumed EAHB within24hours, whereas <10% had consumed plantains. The most common cooking method was simple boiling of bananas/plantains and main accompaniments include beans and amaranth leaves. Over 69% of surveyed households that had consumed Musa products had con-sumed them boiled. The majority of the households (90%) obtained banana/plantains from their farms, and >55% of households from SK and NK consumed banana products between 2 and 4 times/week. This information will be used to help direct researchers on the Musacultivars that could be further sampled for carotenoid analysis and those found to be rich could be used in the fast-tracking approach to reduce Vitamin A deficiency. Keywords-Banana, plantain, preference, cooking, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)