Olu Olu Foods

Iru Locust Beans


Umami and Pungent! 

IRU, Fermented locust bean is a common traditional condiment in Nigeria and other West African countries. Used to flavour stews, sauces and other dishes like rice, indigenous salads etc. It was one of the main condiments used in West Africa before the introduction of bouillon cubes. It has a strong taste and pungent aroma, which is not particularly attractive, but in a sauce or stew, the unmistakable earthy umami flavour enhances the taste. Fermentation not only helps to develop the flavour and aroma of IRU, but it also helps to preserve it. 




  • Nutritional Content: Iru is rich in essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It provides a good source of plant-based protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth. Additionally, the fiber content in iru supports digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.
  • Probiotic Properties: As a fermented food, iru contains beneficial bacteria that support gut health. These probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of gut microbiota, which is essential for proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Consuming iru may help improve gut health and strengthen the body's natural defenses against infections.
  • Antioxidant Activity: Iru contains antioxidants such as phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and tannins, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Antioxidants protect cells from oxidative damage, reduce inflammation, and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • Enhanced Flavor and Palatability: In addition to its nutritional and health benefits, iru adds a unique and savory flavor to dishes. Its umami-rich taste enhances the overall palatability of meals, making them more enjoyable and satisfying. Incorporating iru into your diet can help diversify your culinary experiences while providing potential health benefits.