Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Physicochemical Properties of Maize-beans Flour

Physicochemical Properties of Maize-beans Flour

Physicochemical Properties of Maize-beans Flour

Chapter One

Therefore the aim of this study is to determine the physic-chemical properties of maize-bean flour.



   Maize (Zea May L.)

Maize is a domesticated grass that originated approximately 7000 years ago in what is now Mexico. It is also referred to as corn, and both words are used as synonyms in this review, depending on the source of data or references consulted. Maize was spread across the world shortly after the European discovery of the Americas. Regardless of origin, corn has proven to be one of the most adaptable crops. Its evolution apparently occurred mainly under domestication and resulted in biotypes with adaptation ranging from the tropics to the north temperate zone, from sea level to 12,000 feet altitude, and growing periods (planting to maturity) extending from6weeks to13months (Brown and Darrah, 2005; Vollbrecht and Sigmon, 2005).

Currently, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, India, France, Indonesia, South Africa, and Italy produce 79% of the world’s maize production (Vollbrecht and Sigmon, 2005). Between 2000 and 2011, the number of millions of maize hectares harvested ranged from129.1to163.9.Duringthesame period the production of maize in metric tons per hectare increased from 3.7 to 5.1, and total maize production increased from 482.0 to 832.5 millionmetric tons. Worldwide, 60–70% of maize production is used domestically as livestock feed, and the remaining 30–40% is used for production of items for human consumption (FAO, 2009).

Corn is the main cereal grain as measured by production but ranks third as a staple food, after wheat and rice. The reasons for this fact are varied, but some of them are related to cultural or social preferences and also because in some countries, corn is cultivated as live-stock feed. More recently, the use of corn as a biofuel has generated great concern about rises in the market price of corn for consumption, the need to increase cultivable areas, as well as water quality and other ecological damages. Some predictive models project that large-scale corn ethanol production could lead to decreases in food exports, higher prices and a greater global deforestation (Secchi et al., 2011; Wallington et al., 2012).

Maize Anatomy

The maize kernel is composed of four primary structures from a processing perspective. They are endosperm, germ, pericarp, and tip cap, making up 83%, 11%, 5%, and 1% of the maize kernel, respectively. The endosperm is primarily starch surrounded by a protein matrix. Two main types of starch include hard or vitreous, and soft or opaque. Vitreous endosperm is negatively related to starch degradability and in vivo starch digestibility in ruminants (Duarte-Rayas et al., 2002).

The germ or embryo of the maize kernel is high in fat (33.3%) in addition to enzymes and nutrients for new maize plant growth and development. The germ also contains vitamins from B complex and antioxidants such as vitamin E. Maize germ oil is particularly high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (54.7%), which are subject to oxidative and other forms of rancidity resulting in off or objectionable flavors from full-fat maize products. Pericarp is a high-fiber (8.8% crude) semi permeable barrier surrounding the endosperm and germ, covering all but the tip cap. The tip cap is the structure through which all moisture and nutrients pass through during development and kernel dry down. The black or hilar layer on the tip cap acts as a seal (Eckhoff, 2010). The term bran is also used to refer to the fiber-rich outer layer (pericarp) that contains B vitamins and minerals and the tip cap.

Corn variations may be artificially defined according to kernel type as follows: dent, flint, waxy, flour, sweet, pop, Indian, and pod corn. Except for pod corn, these divisions are based on the quality, quantity, and pattern of endosperm composition, which defines the size of the kernel, and are not indicative of natural relationships. Endosperm composition may be changed by a single gene difference, as in the case of floury (fl) versus flint (FI), sugary (su) versus starchy (Su), waxy (wx) versus non-waxy (Wx), and other single recessive gene modifiers that have been used in breeding special-purpose types of corn (Brown and Darrah, 2005; Doebley, 2004).

Maize Composition

Tables 1 and 2 provide the vitamin and mineral analysis of corn, crude bran, and corn starch as available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutritional Data Base (USDA, 2007). As can be observed, the corn bran is a significant contributor to maize vitamin and mineral content. The wet milling of maize separates much of its nutrient content away from the starch component.

In addition to chemical composition, physical characteristics of maize in the commercial market place influence the value of the grain or the final product. Often, countries will have grading standards for maize entering the supply chain to assist buyers and sellers assessing maize value. Test weight moisture content, foreign material, and damage are among typical measures of maize quality and value (USDA, 2007).





Maize (Zea May L) and Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L) were purchased in the local market of Owo, Ondo state. The preparation process of maize-bean flour was carried out in the food processing laboratory of Food Science and Technology Department in Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria.


  Preparation of Maize (Zea May L) Flour

Maize flour was produced according to the procedure described by Okoruwa (2005). Dried maize kernels was sorted to remove dirt’s and impurities, thereafter it was milled using attrition mill and packaged into high density polyethylene film as show in figure 1.





Table 3: Physicochemical Properties of Maize-bean Flour Blends




The results of this study revealed the physicochemical properties of flour produced from maize and bean flour blends. From the study the fat, ash and protein contents were higher in MBC (20:80) followed by MBE (40:60) which may be due to the percentage of Beans present. There is increase in protein, fat and ash content with an increase in bean flour which means that the beans flour contains more ofthese nutrients than maize flour. From the study it can be concluded that the incorporation of bean flour to maize flour to produce products such as biscuits or pudding can solve the problem of malnutrition such as kwashiorkor, marasmus and the likes.


Based on this research work it is therefore recommended that the use and production of maize-bean flour should be encouraged in food industries due to its chemical nature; such as protein, fat, ash and fibre which could be of good benefits in promoting children’s growth and development even at a low cost.


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