Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Effect on Processing and Legume Inclusion (Pigeon Pea) on the Sensory and Chemical Composition of Maize Pudding

Effect on Processng and Legume Inclusion (Pigeon Pea) on the Sensory and Chemical Composition of Maize Pudding

Effect on Processing and Legume Inclusion (Pigeon Pea) on the Sensory and Chemical Composition of Maize Pudding

Chapter One

Objective of the Study

            The main objective of this project study is to examine the effects of processing and legume inclusion (pigeon pea) on the sensory and chemical composition of maize pudding (elekute-ogede).

 Specific Objectives

            The specific objectives are:

  1. To produce maize flour: fermented, germinated and roasted maize flour
  2. To produce pigeon pea flour
  3. To produce maize pudding
  4. To carry out the sensory analysis of the pudding
  5. To determine the chemical composition of the pudding



 Maize (Zea may L)

 Cultivation of Maize

Maize improvement work started in the forest zones but yield trials were soon conducted in both forest and savanna locations (Van Eijnatten, 2005). The evaluation zones were:

  1. Wet rainforest, covering most of Eastern States of Nigeria and the South-Western part.
  2. Derived Savanna, fringing the forests and forming the transition to the southern Guinea Savanna.
  3. Southern Guinea Savanna.

Because of the differences in yield potential of the ecological zones, testing of new maize varieties across the country became an established practice in maize breeding. These trials were called cooperative maize yield trials (Chinwuba, 2002). With time, the name has gone through several changes, including zonal Trials, Uniform maize, variety trials and now, Nationally Coordinated Maize Variety Trials (NCMVT).

Yields in Ibadan (7o22’N) representing the Forest zone and Mokwa (9o19’N) in the Southern Guinea Savanna were much lower than in Savanna (11o11’N) of the Northern Guinea Savanna. A comparison by Orthoefer et al., (2003) of Forest and Savanna location since yield trials conducted for four years showed that the yield advantage of the savanna was due primarily to ear number. Whereas number of plants harvested was about the same in the two agro-ecologies, the savanna zone consistently produced more ears per unit land area. Therefore barrenness was much more pronounced in Forest zone than in Savanna ecologies. Maize plants in the savanna were taller with higher ear placement, suggesting greater vigor of growth. Number of days to silking was about the same in the two ecologies although the late Ops and the yellow hybrids tended to silk later in the Savanna than in the forest zone. However, percentage moisture content at harvest was consistently lower at savanna than at forest locations. This implies a shorter grain – filling duration and/or a faster dry-down rate in the savanna than in forest ecologies. Indeed, the “stay green” character secures frequently in the forest zone, whereas it is almost non-existent in the savanna zones.

The hybrid maize project has made an impact in Nigeria. The yield advantages of hybrids appear to be sufficiently large to attract the attention of farmers. Improved high yielding maize variety can express its full genetic potential only when offered optimum management resources. This starts with the right choice of site through timely and appropriate establishment, nutrition, disease and pest control to proper harvesting procedure and produce disposal and/or storage. Details of these operations with regards to maize production technology relevant to Nigeria are:

Land clearing and yield preparation: Land clearing must be carried out with minimal displacement of the topsoil. It requires judicious use of heavy machinery coupled with sound soil conservation measures that will preserve the soil fertility status, which varies under long term fallow vegetation. Minimum tillage is a feasible way of sustaining high soil fertility under intensive maize farming.

Planting time: Sowing date is an essential component of crop management. Yields decline with lateness of planting after an optimum time, usually the start of the rains. Response of varieties to other inputs is dependent upon planting time. Optimum planting in each of the major agro-ecological zones of Nigeria falls with these following ranges.

  1. Forest zone – Mid April – 2nd week in May
  2. Forest – Savanna transition – 3rd week in April – 3rd week in May
  3. South Guinea Savanna Last week in April – 3rd week in May.
  4. Northern Guinea Savanna – last week in May – 1st week in June
  5. Sudan Savanna – First 2 weeks in June

Plant population: An optimum plant population is essential for maximum yield in maize. Farmers grow maize at very irregular and wide spacing, due to the fact that most farmers inter-crop maize with other crops. A direct relationship between plant population and final yield to some extent, is obvious because total grain yield is positively and significantly correlated with the number of ears and hence with the number of harvestable plants. A plant population of 53,333 plants/ha is recommended. This is obtainable with 75 cm x 50 cm spacing at 2 plants per hill or 75 cm x 25 cm spacing at 1 plant per hill Farmers are known to prefer wide spacing so as to afford easy movement for weeding and other operations.

Plant nutrients and Fertilizer applications: For good growth and high yield, the maize plant must be supplied with adequate nutrients particularly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The quantity required of these nutrients particularly nitrogen depends on the pre clearing vegetation, organic matter content, tillage method and light intensity (Chinwuba, 2002). The most important of these micronutrients for maize growth are sulphur, zinc and magnesium particularly in the savanna and under continuous cropping of maize in the Forest ecology. The nutrient requirement is satisfied by the application of the right form of fertilizer containing the requisite combination of the elements.

Weed Control: Weeds cause severe yield reduction in maize in Nigeria because they compete with the crop for nutrients; water and light. Weed control is the most expensive operation in traditional maize farming since it is procured manually. Often, the labour is too expensive causing many farmers to abandon weed control thereby resulting in very low yields.





Maize (Zea mays L) and Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) used in the research work was purchased from a local market in Owo, Ondo State. Other materials such as pepper, ripe plantain, salt, onions, palm oil etc were also purchased in the same market in Owo. The samples were processed in food processing laboratory and the chemical composition (proximate analysis) was carried out in the chemistry laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Ondo State.


 Production of maize flour

Whole maize was dehusked and shelled from the cob. The grains were sorted out from plant debris, stones and other foreign materials, and were then washed in water to remove other tiny dirt particles that were present on the grains. The maize was divided into three (3) portions, each undergoing different methods of preparation. The first part was soaked for 48 hours (fermentation) while the second was soaked for 72 hours (3 days), lastly the third part was washed, drained and covered till germination occurred. The grains that were soaked were drained and dried at 60oC in a hot air oven. The dried maize grains were then milled into flour using attrition mill, the germinated grain was dried at 60oC in hot air oven after which it was milled using attrition mill. The three samples of maize flour were kept for further analysis.




Table 4.1: Sensory attributes of maize pudding (elekute-ogede) produced from maize-pigeon pea flour blends





Elekute is a maize based pudding consumed mostly in the south-western part of Nigeria. It is produced locally by milling roasted maize into a fine powder and the addition of slurry over ripe plantain, seasoned with spices. Elekute ogede is consumed by both children. But just as with other mainly maize based food products, consumption of Elekute is associated with protein deficiency which can cause kwarshiorko in children. As a result of the protein deficient nutritional status (PEM), this work is aimed to examine the sensory and chemical composition of maize pudding produced from maize –pigeon pea as a means of improving the protein contents of the food products. Therefore, conclusively, the fortification of Elekute-ogede with protein-rich foods materials like pigeon pea can be a way out to the protein deficient nutritional status of Elekute ogede. Also the germinated or sprouted of the maize could help improved the nutritional contents of the products.


This research work is therefore recommended that other researchers can investigate and provide more results on this present study and also that the fortification of maize- pudding (Elekute ogede) with pigeon pea will help to improve and increase the nutritional contents of the food products.


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