Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Nutrient Composition, Functional and Organoleptic Properties of Complementary Food Made From Millet, Pigeon Pea and Soybean

Nutrient Composition, Functional and Organoleptic Properties of Complementary Food Made From Millet, Pigeon Pea and Soybean

Nutrient Composition, Functional and Organoleptic Properties of Complementary Food Made From Millet, Pigeon Pea and Soybean

Chapter One

Objective of the Study

This project study aimed to evaluate the nutritional, functional, and organoleptic properties of complementary food made from pigeon pea, millet, and soybean flour blends.



Millets (Pennisetum glaucum)

Brief introduction to millets (Pennisetum glaucum)

Millets are one of the cereals asides the major wheat, rice, and maize. Millets are major food sources for millions of people, especially those who live in hot, dry areas of the world. They are grown mostly in marginal areas under agricultural conditions in which major cereals fail to give substantial yields (Adekunle, 2012). Millets are classified with maize, sorghum, and Coix (Job’s tears) in the grass sub-family Panicoideae (Yang et al., 2012). Millets are important foods in many underdeveloped countries because of their ability to grow under adverse weather conditions like limited rainfall. In contrast, millet is the major source of energy and protein for millions of people in Africa. It has been reported that millet has many nutritious and medical functions (Obilana and Manyasa, 2002; Yang et al., 2012). It is a drought resistant crop and can be stored for a long time without insect damage (Adekunle, 2012); hence, it can be important during famine.

Classification and production of millets

Discrepancies exist concerning classification of family millet, with some references giving the family name Gramineae, and others classifying it in the family Poaceae. There are many varieties of millets. The four major types are Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), which comprises 40% of the world production, Foxtail millet (Setaria italica) (Yang et al., 2012), Proso millet or white millet (Panicum miliaceum), and Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana). Pearl millet produces the largest seeds and it is the variety most commonly used for human consumption (Mariac et al., 2006; ICRISAT, 2007). Minor millets include: Barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.), Kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), Little millet (Panicum sumatrense), Guinea millet (Brachiaria deflexa = Urochloa deflexa), Browntop millet (Urochloa ramosa = Brachiaria ramosa = Panicum ramosum), Teff (Eragrostis tef) and fonio (Digitaria exilis) are also often called millets, as more rarely are sorghum (Sorghum spp.) and Job’s tears (Coix lacrima-jobi) (ICRISAT, 2007; FAO, 2009; Adekunle, 2012).

In 2007, global millet production reached about 32 million tonnes with the top producing countries being: India (10,610,000), Nigeria (7,700,000), Niger (2,781,928), China (2,101,000), Burkina Faso (1,104,010), Mali (1,074,440), Sudan (792,000), Uganda (732,000), Chad (550,000) and Ethiopia (500,000) (FAO, 2009). According to FAO (2005), pearl millet production attained approximately 54% of the global production in 2004. Millets represent a unique biodiversity component in the agriculture and food security systems of millions of poor farmers in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa. Pearl millet is an important food across the Sahel, although, India is the largest producer of pearl millet (Bhattacharjee et al., 2007). Millets are often ground into flour, rolled into large balls, parboiled, and then consumed as porridge with milk; sometimes millets are prepared as beverages. Roti, made from pearl millet has been the primary food of farmers in Gujarat India (FAO, 2009).

There is an emerging need for the world to feed its growing population, therefore, it is important to explore plants such as millets that are grown locally and consumed by low income households in places like India and the Sahel zone (Obiana, 2003). Cereals, in particular, millet based foods and beverages are known worldwide and are still part of the major diet in most African countries (Obilana and Manyasa, 2002; Amadou et al., 2011).

 Nutritional composition of millet grains

Millets are unique among the cereals because of their richness in calcium, dietary fibre, polyphenols and protein (Devi et al., 2011). Millets generally contain significant amounts of essential amino acids particularly the sulphur containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine); they are also higher in fat content than maize, rice, and sorghum (Obilana and Manyasa, 2002). In general, cereal proteins including millets are limited in lysine and tryptophan content and vary with cultivar. However, most cereals contain the essential amino acids as well as vitamins and minerals (Devi et al., 2011; FAO, 2009). Plant nutrients are largely used in the food industry, and cereal grains constitute a major source of dietary nutrients worldwide (Amadou et al., 2011a; Izadi et al., 2012). Modification of a protein is usually realized by physical, chemical, biological such as fermentation or an enzymatic treatment, which changes its structure and consequently its physicochemical and functional properties (Lestienne et al., 2007; Amadou et al., 2011b).

Badau et al., (2005) reported that the phytic acid content of the unmalted pearl millet grain ranged from 2.91% to 3.30%. The total dietary fibre (22.0%) of finger millet grain were reported relatively higher than that of many other cereal grains (e.g. 12.6%, 4.6% and 12.8% respectively for wheat, rice, maize and sorghum (Shobana and Malleshi, 2007; Siwela et al., 2010). However, the dietary fibre content in pearl millet ranges between 8 to 9% (Taylor, 2004). Bagdi et al., (2011) analyzed the composition of free and bound lipids in proso millet (Panicum miliaceum) flours and brans. In the free lipids, hydrocarbons, sterol esters, triacylglycerols, diacylglycerols, and free fatty acids were present (Bagdi et al., 2011). The predominant fatty acids in the free lipids were linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acids, though, in the bound lipids, monogalactosyl diacylglycerols, digalactosyl diacylglycerols, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidyl serine, and phosphatidyl choline were tentatively identified (Bagdi et al., 2011). Saldivar (2003) studied the content of total lipids, lipid classes and fatty acids composition in small millets, such as foxtail millet (Setaria italica), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), and finger millet (Eleusine coracana).

They reported the total lipid content in the foxtail, proso, and finger millets ranged from 5.2 to 11.0% (dry basis), while it ranges from 5.1 to 8.3% in the little, kodo, and barnyard millets (Saldivar, 2003). In addition, examination of some millet cultivars from Tunisia and Mauritania by Ibrahima et al., (2004) showed that the fatty acid profile of the millet lipid is mainly characterized by the presence of high levels of linoleic, oleic and palmitic acid. However, palmitoleic acid (C16: 1), stearic acid (C18: 0) and linolenic acid (C18: 3) were less represented. Other fatty acids are identified in trace amounts (arachidic acid C20: 0, behenic acid C22: 0, erucic acid C22: 1). The work of Liang et al., (2010) presented the general properties of foxtail millet oil and its fatty acid profile. It is apparent that millet oil could be a good source of natural oil rich in linoleic acid and tocopherols (Liang et al., 2010; Amadou et al., 2011c). The main polyphenols in cereals are phenolic acids and tannins, whilst flavonoids are present in small quantities; they act as antioxidant and play many roles in the body immune system defence (Chandrasekara and Shahidi, 2010; Devi et al., 2011).

Whole cereal grains are considered a rich source of fibre. However, foods from grains have marked differences in the amount and type of dietary fibre (Shukla and Srivastava, 2011). The dietary fibre content in cereal-based food varies greatly, depending on the extent of milling. Finger millet shows relatively higher than other cereals carbohydrate (72%) comprises of starch as the main constituent and the non-starchy polysaccharides which amounts to 15–20% of the seed matter as an unavailable carbohydrate dietary fibre content and complements which are the health benefits of the millet (Devi et al., 2011). The main function of dietary carbohydrate is to supply energy (Devi et al., 2011). Millets are good sources of magnesium and phosphorus. Magnesium has the ability to help reduce the effects of migraine and heart attacks, while, phosphorus is an essential component of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) a precursor to energy in the body (Badau et al., 2005; Liang et al., 2010; Devi et al., 2011).





The raw materials used in this project work were pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and soybean (Glycine max), they were purchased in “Emure market”, Owo Ondo State. The complementary food was processed in the Food Processing Laboratory; analysis was carried out in the Chemistry Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.

 Methods of Production

 Preparation of millet flour

Millet flour was produced using the procedure described by Mohamed (2002) (Figure 3.1). The millet grains (2 kg) were sorted to remove stones, dirt and other extraneous materials then the grains were dried. The dried grains were milled, sieved and packed in a seal lock cellophane bag until ready for used.




Table 4.1: Proximate composition of complementary food samples





The result obtained from this study established that nutritious complementary food could be produced using millet flour fortified with pigeon pea and soybean flours and could be used by mothers to feed their infants and children during the complementary feeding period. The blends had low bulk density, water absorption capacity and swelling index. Higher protein contents were observed in blended samples when compared with MPSA (100% millet flour). The functional properties also revealed that the blended samples possess a fine functional properties for infant. The sensory scores revealed that MPSA was most preferred followed by MPSB in term of overall acceptability. It therefore shows that the addition of pigeon pea and soybean could be used to significantly improve some nutrients which are often found in limited amount in some staple complementary foods. MPSE had the highest pigeon pea and soybean flour substitution and least accepted in sensory evaluation which could be attributed to the beany aroma of pigeon pea.


On the basis of nutrient composition MPSE (60% millet flour, 20% pigeon pea flour and 20% soybean flour) could be recommended but further investigation needs to be done as to enhance the overall acceptability of the product. In view of this millet-pigeon pea-soybea flour blends may be utilized in formulation of complementary food for children as well as for other food product development in food industry.



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