Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Production of Tiger Nut Milk Using Tiger Nuts

Production of Tiger Nut Milk Using Tiger Nuts

Production of Tiger Nut Milk Using Tiger Nuts

Chapter One

Objectives of the study

The objective of this study is therefore to improve the yield and extraction practice of tigernut milk; which constitutes an innovative opportunity through the production of this drink from sprouting tubers or by the addition of exogenous amylases. The interest of the study lies in the possibility of offering a naturally sweetened drink with no obligation to add sugar and which easily lends itself to pasteurization.



History of tiger nut

Zohary and hopf consider this tuber rank among the oldest cultivated plants in Ancient Egypt. Although chufa was no doubt an important food element in ancient Egypt during dynastic times, its cultivation in ancient times seems to have remained (totally or almost totally) an Egyptian specialty. Its dry tubers have been found in tombs from pre-dynastic times about 6000 years ago. In those times, Cyperus esculentus tubers were consumed either boiled in beer, roasted or as sweets made of ground tubers with honey. The tubers were also used medicinally, taken orally, as an ointment, or as an enema, and used in fumigants to sweeten the smell of homes or clothing. There are almost no contemporary records of this plant in other parts of old world. Presently, they are cultivated mainly, at least for extended and common commercial purposes, in Spain, where they were introduced by Arabs, almost exclusively in Valencia region. They are found exclusively in California and were grown by the Paiute in owens valley. Tiger nut is also cultivated in countries like Chile, Brazil, USA, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Northern Cameroon and Mali, where they are used primarily as animal feed or uncooked as a side dish.


Cyperus esculentus L.

Yellow nut sedge, chufa, chufa flat sedge, rush nut, water grass, earth

Almond, ground almond, tiger nut, northern nut grass, nut grass

FAMILY: Cyperaceae

Cyperus esculentus L.var.esculentus

Cyperus esculentus var. angustispicatusBritt.

Cyperus esculentus var. leptostachyusBoeckl.

Cyperus esculentus var. macrostachyusBoeckl.

Cyperus lutescensTorr.& Hook.

Tiger nut milk

The origin of the use of this tuber for making milk is exclusive to the Spaniards to which it may have been introduced by Arabs. Tiger nut milk /beverage/drink commonly called kunnun aya’ in Northern Nigeria is a healthy drink with many nutrients. It is a nourishing and energetic product recommended by experts to be taken during any season of the year, especially in dry season when the sun is hot. In Spain, it is called chufa de horchata. It is a rich source of nutrients such as vitamin C and E, and minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, and also carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, proteins and some enzymes which helps indigestion. In fact this drink contains more iron, magnesium and carbohydrate than the cow’s milk. It has also the advantage of not containing lactose, casein, sugar or proteins of milk, or cholesterol and is therefore an ideal drink for people who do not tolerate gluten or cow’s milk. The nutritional value of tiger nut beverage is however, insufficient given that its protein content is low (6.05%).




 Sample Origin

The experiments were carried out on tigernut tubers Ø > 1 cm bought in Barnawa market, Kaduna South, Kaduna state.

Sample Traitments

The tubers were subjected to soaking treatments in vitamin C solution (SVT), and part of the soaked tubers was subjected to sprouting (ST). Untreated tubers or Native Tubers (NT) were used as controls.

 Vitamin C Treatment

This treatment consisted of soaking the tigernut tubers in the vitamin C solution (1 g/L) at 40 C for 48 h, the time necessary for their maximum swelling.

 Tubers Sprouting

The tigernut tubers were sprouted according to the methods developed by Umerie et Enebeli (2009) and Garcia Jiménez et al. (2010). For this purpose, the tubers soaked in the solution of vitamin C for 48 h at 40 C were put for sprouting at 25 C on jute bags protected from light for 6 days and sprayed with water two times a day (morning and evening). It should be noted that treatment with vitamin C is also a treatment for the destruction of molds (Dematophora necatrix), agents for the inhibiting germination of tubers. After germination, the tubers were dried for 48 h at 40 C in an oven and the rootlets removed manually.


Results and Discussion

 Influence of Sprouting on Physico-Chemical Characteristics and Functional Properties of Tigernut Tubers

Table 2 shows that sprouting results in a considerable reduction in the starch content, which is converted into reducing sugars because 66.66% increases in the concentration of these compounds were observed in the sprouted tubers compared to the native tubers. This observation was also reported by Umerie and Enibelie (2009) and Ejoh et al. (2019), who recorded a 67.34% increase in the concentration of reducing sugars after the sprouting of tigernut tubers for syrup preparation.




TNM is a very good source of nutrients which can be easily affordable. The preparation of the milk and subsequent fermentation is a simple process. The milk is rich in carbohydrates, protein, fat and many essential mineral elements. Refrigeration of the imitation milk prolongs the shelf stability. In terms of sensory qualities, there is no significant difference between fermented TNM and fermented milk of animal origin.

Under this study, the aim of which was to improve the yield and the practice extraction of tigernut milk through the production of this drink from sprouted tubers or by the addition of exogenous amylases, the following conclusions were drawn:

  • The soaking and hydrolysis of the starch improves the milk extraction yield to almost 70% compared to untreated tubers.
  • The different types of hydrolysis lead to an increase in the sweetness of the milky extracts.
  • Amylolytic hydrolysis significantly reduces the starch content in the milk extracts and makes them suitable for pasteurization without caking tigernut milk, as shown by rheological profiles.


However, it is advisable to study the influence of pasteurization on the shelf life and physical appearance of tigernut milk over time. The influence of pasteurization on the nutritional and organoleptic qualities of the milky extracts after this treatment, as well as the quality of the packaging of treated tigernut milks, remain a scientific concern that will need to be addressed.


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