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Aims: Determine the variability and usages of Traditional Alkaline Salts (TAS) used in Africa, specifically in Cameroon.
Place and Duration of the Study: This study was done in different agro-ecological areas of Cameroon between January and August 2015.
Methodology: Individual interviews of women (204) found in markets of different Agro-ecological areas of Cameroon (Sudano-sahelian, high Guinea savannah, Western highlands and Humid forest) by using a semi-structured questionnaire.
Results: Traditional Alkaline Salts used in Cameroon are rocks (Lakes’ deposits) and plant-based salts (plant-based ashes, their solutions, their filtrates and evaporites of these filtrates). They are mainly used in food preparations, but also as drugs (rocks only). They are used in food preparations as technological auxiliary (preservatives, emulsifiers, taste improvers, color improvers/maintainers, texture improvers/modifiers) and for biological functionalities (avoidance of stomach distending and stomach cleaning of breastfeeding women).
Conclusion: Diversity of TAS, their functionalities, frequency and level of use, raise up research issues on their chemical composition, the mechanism involved in their properties, their stability and their toxicology risk.
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