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Fermented Milk Products From All Over the World • Mabisi (Zambia)


Mabisi is a traditional fermented product made out of raw milk, specific to Zambia. The process is straightforward and it is based on the bacteria that naturally exist in the milk, which promote the fermentation process when certain conditions are met. In order to prepare mabisi, the people in Zambia will place the fresh, raw milk into a calabash. Then, it is allowed to sit at room temperature for approximately 2 days, time in which the milk will start fermenting due to the action of bacteria. In order to continue preparing mabisi fast and easy, the calabash used for the fermentation process is not washed once a batch of mabisi is ready. This ensures the propagation of the right kind of bacteria, making the process faster and more effective. Having a slightly sour taste and a thick consistency, mabisi resembles sour milk found in other parts of the world in a great deal. When it comes to the bacteria strains found in mabisi, Lactococcus lactis is the one that holds the majority. Other bacteria that are worth mentioning are Streptococcus thermophiles, and Lactobacillus helveticus. But, depending on the environment where mabisi is prepared, other types of bacteria can be present in its composition, so there isn’t a specific bacterial culture for making mabisi, as this aspect is highly influenced by environmental conditions.

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