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Evaluation Of The Physicochemical Properties Of Plantain Flour Produced Using Different Drying Methods

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ABSTRACT

This study was carried out to determine the proximate composition, mineral composition, functional properties and anti-nutritional content of ‘unripe plantain flour produced using different drying methods namely; oven drying, sun (open air) and microwaving methods. Flours were obtained by peeling, slicing, washing, drying, milling and sieving. The flours obtained were evaluated for proximate composition, mineral composition, functional properties and anti- nutritional content. The samples had proximate composition ranging from 6.75% to 58.35% moisture, 1.40% to 4.89% ash, 1.38% to 2.75% crude fat, 3.40% to 8.00% protein, 1.29% to 6.76% crude fibre and 28.21% to 76.70% carbohydrate. Mineral content of the unripe plantain samples ranged from 48.26mg/100g to 56.07mg/100g calcium content, 224.12mg/100g to 230.36mg/100g magnesium, 2.05mg/100g to 4.13mg/100g iron, 22.15mg/100g to 160.11mg/100g potassium and 4.07mg/100g to 8.2 7mg/100g. Functional properties of the unripe plantain samples ranged from 88.27ml/g to 180.19ml/g water absorption capacity, 111.25m1/g to 195.08ml/g oil absorption capacity, 0.89ml/ml to 4.49m1/ml swelling index, 0.83g/ml to 2.40g/ml bulk density, and 72°C to 84°C gelatinization point. The unripe plantain samples had anti- nutritional contents ranging from 0.20% to 2.17% oxalate, 0.33% to 2.53% phytate and 0.42% to 2.85% tannin. The result of this work showed that the drying methods have effect both on the proximate, mineral, functional and anti- nutritional properties of the flour samples with microwave drying obtaining the best rest.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Plantain, (Musa paradisiaca) is cultivated in the tropics and is an important staple food in sub-saharan Africa. About 63 million toimes of the crop are produced annually, of which as much as 90% is consumed locally in the producing countries, allowing only a meager 10% for foreign fmancial earnings through exportation (Awodoyin, 2003; Baiyeri et al., 2011). This is largely attributed to poor storage condition of the crop, worsened by poor or lack of storage facilities and processing technology (Adeniji and Empere, 2001).

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Certain times, processed foods are not appreciated among the populace due to – textural differences, arising from the processing (Yarkwan, 2004). Plantain is a rich source of nutrients. It is well patronized as a staple food in many parts of the West and Central Africa (Adeniji et al., 2006a). It is a rich source of nutrients such as iron, zinc, potassium and sodium (Mepba et al., 2007; Zakpaa et a!., 2010; Baiyeri et al., 2011). Adeniji et a!. (2006a) reported between 14.275 to 36.500 tg/g of iron in plantain, depending on the cultivar. Plantain falls under banana and it is a monocotyledonous perennial and important crop in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world (Baiyeri et al., 2011).

In Nigeria, Cameroun, Coted’ Voire, and other plantain producing countries in Africa, the entire fruit of pulp of plantain either unripe or half-ripe are roasted on hot charcoal and eaten with other delicacies such as roasted. pums, avocado, roasted fish or meat, and kelat and sometimes in combination of hot stew. In Nigeria, as well as other West African countries, the unripe plantain is traditionally processed into flour (Ukhum and Ukpebor, 1991). In other instances, unripe plantains are harvested, peeled, sliced and sundried, then pounded and ground to obtain flour. This is usually prepared by mixing the plantain flour with boiling water toran elastic pastry (amala, as fondly called among the Yorubas in Nigeria) and ‘foufou’ in Cameroun, and is eaten with various sauces.

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This tropical crop is seasonal. Its abundance is hardly contained during the harvest season, leading to spoilage, while it is insufficient during its off season periods. It is highly perishable after harvest. This makes it necessary for it to be processed within the shortest period of time following harvest to avoid postharvest losses. This compels farmers to process their harvest in order to increase the availability of the staple food produce all through the year, thereby ensuring food security and also providing for themselves a means of financial income during the off season periods. Plantains, grouped along with tubers constitute a whopping 22.60% of the total per food commodity expenditure profile for Nigerian households (NBS, 2010). This translates to an estimated 14.62% of the total per commodity expenditure profile for Nigerian homes (NBS, 2010).

The food item is of great commercial value and since tubers are not farmed in some parts of the country, such as the riverine states, where plantain is massively produced, it replaces the pounded yam produced in the yam farming communities of Nigeria. However, over 30% of produced crops in Nigeria are lost following harvest, due to poor storage facilities, poor or lack of processing technology, among others (Osagie and Eka, 1998)

Traditionally, sun-drying is the common method used in processing plantains. The fruit is first peeled, sliced, sundried and ground into fine powder. The present mode for sun drying in the open air exposes the product to dirt, damage from insects, bacteria infestation and the deposition of fungal spores, and a varying degree of other environmental toxicants, depending on the site/location of drying. Thus, the need for a hygienic, effective drying method is apparent. Modem methods of drying include oven drying, microwaving and solar drying. Both of these utilize heat to remove the moisture content in the food to the barest minimum, by evaporation. These modem methods of drying are used in drying plant materials at specific temperatures over a defined period of time.

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1.1       Statement of Problem

While the traditional method of preservation continues, enlighten consumers tend to be skeptical over the physicochemical and nutritional contents of the resultant flour they feed on, a factor which affects the patronage of such products. However, the local peasants enjoy the meals without bothering. There is however, scanty information available in literature over the effect of these drying methods on the nutritional composition and physicochemical properties of the resultant flour. :.

1.2       Justification

Result obtained in this study will help provide information on the effect of different drying methods on the nutritional composition and physicochemical properties of plantain flour.

1.3 Objectives of Study

The main objective of this study is to evaluate• the effect of different drying methods on the nutritional composition and physicochemical properties of plantain flour.

The specific objectives include:

  • To produce flour from unripe plantain flour using different drying methods (sun drying, oven drying and microwave drying).
  • To determine the proximate composition of the flour samples
  • To determine the physiochemical properties of the flour samples
  • To determine the mineral composition of the flour samples
  • To determine the vitamin content of the flour samples
  • To analyze the data obtained using statistical analysis

    Pages:  65

    Category: Project

    Format:  Word & PDF         

    Chapters: 1-5                                 

    Source: Imsuinfo                            

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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