Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Effect of Cooking Time on the Nutrients and Anti-nutrient Content of Pigeon Pea

Effect of Cooking Time on the Nutrients and Anti-nutrient Content of Pigeon Pea

Effect of Cooking Time on the Nutrients and Anti-nutrient Content of Pigeon Pea

Chapter One

Objective of the study

The objective of this project work is to investigate the effect of cooking time on the nutrient and antinutrient content of pigeon peas (Cajanus cajan).



Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan L.)

Pigeon pea is useful in various ways both as human food and animal feed. As human food pigeon pea is used as ‘dhal (split seed without seed coat), whole seed, and green vegetable to supplement cereal-based diets. The seed by-products from the ‘dhal mills are used as animal feed. Pigeon pea leaves are used as dry or green fodder. Stalks of pigeon pea are useful for making baskets, constructing huts, hedges, and binding material (Faris and Singh, 2000). Pigeon pea green manure provide nitrogen-rich organic material to improve soil structure (Whiteman and Norton, 2001).

Pigeon pea is accepted in many parts of the world since it is very much resistant to drought (ICRISAT). Pigeon pea seeds compliment cereals such as corn, maize, wheat and rice. It forms a good portion of the human diet in many African, Asian and South American countries as well. Pigeon pea is the economical source of protein, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins such as B-complex particularly in the vegetarian diet. Along with the cereals pigeon pea provide well balanced diet and can be comparable to other dense protein sources like whey and soy (Akporhonor et al., 2006)

 Origin of pigeon pea

The centre of origin of pigeon pea is probably peninsular India, where the closest wild relatives (Cajanus cajanifolia) occur in tropical deciduous woodlands (Van der Maeson., 2005). But, some other opinions state that the origin of Cajanus cajan was either from Northeastern Africa or India (Ecocrop, 2016). Archaeo logical finds of pigeon pea dating to about 3400 years ago (14th century BC) have been found at Neolithic sites in Karnataka and its border areas (Tuljapur-Garhi in Maharashtra and Gopalpur in Orissa) and also the south Indian states such as Kerala, where it is called Tomara Payaru (Fuller and Harvey, 2006). From India it traveled to East Africa and West Africa. There, it was first encountered by Europeans, so it obtained the name Congo Pea. By means of the slave trade, it came to the American continent, probably in the 17th century (Carney and Rosomoff, 2009). According to Van der Maesen (2000), India is the native of pigeon pea because of its natural genetic variability available in the local germplasm and the presence of its wild relatives in the country.


Pigeon pea plants are a perennial legume which can reach a height upto 3 feet to 12 feet. The compound leaves of this plant consist of three green leaflets which have a pubescence and darker color on the upper side and a graygreen color on the underside. The flowers are yellow with red lines or completely red on the exterior (Jonael Bosques). The flowers are bisexual, zygomorphic and predominantly yellow (Sundaraj and Thulasidas, 2000). The inflorescence is raceme which contain up to ten flowers per panicle and usually two flowers open at a time on a single inflorescence (Sharma and Green, 2000). The androecium has 10 stamens bunched into two groUSPWF (diadelphous) of 9 and a single free stamen that is attached at the base of androecium. The fruit of pigeon pea is a flat, straight, pubescent, 5-9 cm long x 12-13 mm wide pod. It contains 2-9 seeds that are brown, red or black in colour, small and sometimes hard coated (Bekele-Tessema, 2007).

The 100 seed weight of short duration cultivated varieties are low (generally 6-8 grams) as compared to long duration varieties (9-13 g). Root of pigeon pea is well developed in upper 60 cm soil profile (Natarajan and Willey, 2000). The root system consists of fine lateral roots as well as a large taproot. This root provides the capacity to overcome moderate drought periods (Jonael Bosques). The vegetative growth of the pigeon pea starts slowly, but accelerates when the plant reaches 2 to 3 months.




 Materials Source

Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) was purchased from the main market of Owo, the pigeon pea was processed in the Processing Laboratory and objected to analysis in the Chemistry Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.




Table 4.1: Proximate Composition of Raw and Boiled Pigeon Pea Flour Sample Treatment.




The results of this study suggest that pigeon pea seed is of good proximate composition. Boiling proves to be an effective way of reducing the anti-nutrient contents of the flour, but at the same time, some nutrients are loss during the process. There is no doubt that this crop is also a rich source of phytonutrients.


It is recommended that further research work should be carried out to detect the available phytochemicals in this well known, but underutilized crop.


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