Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Proximate and Consumer Acceptability of Maize Pudding (Abari) Enriched With Soybean Flour

Proximate and Consumer Acceptability of Maize Pudding (Abari) Enriched With Soybean Flour

Proximate and Consumer Acceptability of Maize Pudding (Abari) Enriched With Soybean Flour

Chapter One

Objective of the Study

It was therefore the aim of this study to investigate some of the important microbial properties of maize-soybean composite flours as well as the proximate contents and consumer acceptability of its pudding (abari) which is normally produced from maize paste.



Overview Maize (Zea may L)

Maize or corn (Zea mays L.) is an important annual cereal crop of the world belonging to family Poaceae. Zea is an ancient Greek word which means “sustaining life” and Mays is a word from Taino language meaning “life giver.” The word “maize” is from the Spanish connotation “maiz” which is the best way of describing the plant. Various other synonyms like zea, silk maize, makka, barajovar, etc. are used to recognize the plant (Kumar and Jhariya, 2013). It is considered as a staple food in manyparts of the world. It is a third leading crop of the world after rice and wheat (Sandhu et al., 2007). The world production of maize was 967 million metric tons (MMT) and in India its production was 23 MMT in 2013–14 (India maize summit, 2014).

Due to its highest yield potential among the cereals it is known globally as queen of cereals. The largest producer of maize is United States of America (USA) contributing about 35% of the total world maize production. It is known as mother grain of Americans and it is the driver of the US economy. In India, the major maize growing states are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Jammu and Kashmir, jointly accounting for over 95% of the national maize production (Milind and Isha, 2013). Maize is generally used for animal feed. It is widely processed into various types of products such as cornmeal, grits, starch, flour, tortillas, snacks, and breakfast cereals. Maize flour is used to make chapatis or flat breads which are eaten mainly in a few Northern states of India (Mehta and Dias, 1999). Due to increasing attention being drawn towards the development of nutraceuticals, the phytochemical compounds derived from maize and their health properties have recently become the major focus of studies. Thus, this review aims to discuss the major phytochemical compounds in maize and their health-promoting effects, in order to better understand the nutritional and health potential of maize and consequently improve its consumption.

Taxonomy of Maize

Kingdom: Plantae

Subkingdom: Tracheobionta

Superdivision: Spermatophyta

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Liliopsida

Subclass: Commelinidae

Order: Cyperales

Family: Poaceae

Subfamily: Panicoideae

Tribe: Andropogoneae

Genus: Zea

Species: Zea mays

The genus Zea consists of four species of which Zea mays L. is economically important. The other Zea species, referred to as teosintes, are largely wild grasses native to Mexico and Central America. The number of chromosomes in Zea mays is 2n = 20. The tribe Andropogoneae comprises seven genera, namely old and new world groups. Old world comprises Coix (2n = 10/20), Chionachne (2n = 20), Sclerachne (2n = 20), Trilobachne (2n = 20), and Polytoca (2n = 20), and new world group has Zea and Tripsacum (Biology of maize, 2011).

Nutritional value of maize

Maize kernel is an edible and nutritive part of the plant. It also contains vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (niacin), vitamin B3 (riboflavin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folic acid, selenium, N-p-coumaryltryptamine, and N-ferrulyltryptamine. Potassium is a major nutrient present which has a good significance because an average human diet is deficient in it (Kumar and Jhariya, 2013). Roasted maize kernels are also used as coffee substitute (Breadley, 1992).

Maize germ contains about 45–50% of oil that is used in cooking, salads and is obtained from wet milling process (Orthoefer et al., 2003). The oil contains 14% saturated fatty acids, 30% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 56% polyunsaturated fatty acids. The refined maize oil contains linoleic acid 54–60%, oleic acid 25–31%, palmitic acid 11–13%, stearic acid 2–3% and linolenic acid 1% (CRA, 2006). The two main forms of vitamin E present in our diet are alpha (α) and gamma (γ) tocopherols. Maize oil is amongst the rich sources of these tocopherols, especially γ-tocopherol and their reported concentration was 21.3 and 94.1 mg/100 g, respectively (Sen et al., 2006). Maize silk contains various constituents essential for our diet such as maizenic acid, fixed oils, resin, sugar, mucilage, salt, and fibers (Kumar and Jhariya, 2013).

 Economical Importance

The oil present in corn (rich in embryo) is far and wide used for cooking and manufacture of soaps. Sticky gum contains dextrin used for sealing envelopes and labels. Corn starch is well recognized for its uses in cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries as diluents. Corn seeds are functional in making alcohol and stem fibres for manufacture of paper.

Health Benefits of Maize

Maize has various health benefits. The B-complex vitamins in maize are good for skin, hair, heart, brain, and proper digestion. They also prevent the symptoms of rheumatism because they are believed to improve the joint motility. The presence of vitamins A, C, and K together with beta-carotene and selenium helps to improve the functioning of thyroid gland and immune system. Potassium is a major nutrient present in maize which has diuretic properties. Maize silk has many benefits associated with it. In many countries of the world such as India, China, Spain, France and Greece it is used to treat kidney stones, urinary tract infections, jaundice, and fluid retention. It also has a potential to improve blood pressure, support liver functioning, and produce bile. It acts as a good emollient for wounds, swelling, and ulcers. Decoction of silk, roots, and leaves are used for bladder problems, nausea, and vomiting, while decoction of cob is used for stomach complaints (Kumar and Jhariya, 2013).

The presence of essential fatty acids, especially linoleic acid in maize oil plays an important role in the diet by maintaining blood pressure, regulating blood cholesterol level, and preventing cardiovascular maladies (Dupont et al., 1990; Birringer et al., 2002; Sen et al., 2006). Moreover a tablespoon of maize oil satisfies the requirements for essential fatty acids for a healthy child or adult (CRA, 2006). Vitamin E in maize oil which is known as a key chain breaking antioxidant prevents the promulgation of oxidative stresses in biological membranes and prevents the development of atherosclerosis through intervention of maize oil in the diet (Lemcke-Norojarvi et al., 2001; Ricciarelli et al., 2001).

Maize is believed to have potential anti-HIV activity due to the presence of Galanthusnivalis agglutinin (GNA) lectin also referred as GNA-maize. Lectins are special proteins that can bind onto carbohydrates or carbohydrate receptors found on cell membranes. In some micro-organisms including the HIV virus, the binding of lectins onto sugars is believed to inhibit activity of the virus. Zein an alcohol-soluble prolamine is an important component found in maize endosperm. It is GRAS (generally recognized as safe), nontoxic, and biodegradable protein. It possesses great potential to provide important health benefits to human beings. It acts as a nanoscale biomaterial that has unique solubility and film-forming properties. It has novel applications in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical areas to coat nanoparticles, develop promising nanocomposite antimicrobial agents, produce novel food packaging, encapsulate nutrients, and provide target delivery with controlled release (Fernandez et al., 2009; Jin et al., 2009; Lai andGuo, 2011; Luo et al., 2010; Luo et al., 2011; Sanchez-Garcia et al., 2010; Zhang et al., 2010).

Resistant starch (RS) from maize, also called as high-amylose maize has various health beneficial effects. Maize endosperm contains 39.4 mg/100 g RS (Jiang, 2010). It escapes digestion and its consumption helps in altering microbial populations, lowering cholesterol and enhancing its fecal excretion, increasing the fermentation and short-chain fatty acid production in large intestine, reducing symptoms of diarrhea, which altogether reduce the risk of cecal cancer, atherosclerosis, and obesity-related complications (Murphy et al., 2008). RS enhances the desirable composition of colonic bacteria in mice therefore might possess potential prebiotic properties (Wang et al., 2002). Its consumption influences cholesterol metabolism, lowers body fat storage therefore reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and obesity (Higgins, 2004). It can significantly shorten the intestinal transit time that leads to elimination of waste material through feces in a quicker time (Kim et al., 2003).

RS as dietary fiber helps in weight control as it reduces the food intake by diluting energy density of the diet as well as by modulating certain gene expressions. A study was carried on rats which explained that the inclusion of RS from maize in their diet can affect the energy balance through its effect as a fiber, a stimulator of gut peptide tyrosine-tyrosine (peptide YY), an expressor of glucagonlike peptide-1, as well as other genes in hypothalamic area of brain which are the key factors for maintaining energy homeostasis and reducing the food intake by increasing satiety (Keenan et al., 2006; Shen et al., 2009). Another investigation was carried out to examine the effects of different high-fiber foods on the satiety of healthy human subjects. The results showed that eating muffins containing RS and maize bran had a major impact on satiety compared with foods containing other fibers (Willis et al., 2009). RS has also been suggested to be potentially beneficial for improving insulin sensitivity in both animal and human subjects (Deng et al., 2010; Johnston et al., 2010).

Maize is an essential source of various phytochemicals that play an important role in our health (Kopsell et al., 2009). There is inverse correlation between the consumption of phytochemicals and the development of chronic diseases. The phytochemicals in whole grains have received less attention and sometimes been underestimated. The research has suggested that phytochemicals in grains due to their potent antioxidant activities demonstrate significant beneficial contribution in reducing the risk of many diseases (Liu, 2007). Maize grains, especially yellow variety contains large quantities of the carotenoid pigments and has a vital significance in the diet as human beings are not able to biosynthesize carotenoids. These pigments are also beneficial in preventing cancer (Michaud et al., 2000).





The Maize (Zea may L) and soybean (Gycine max) used are purchased from a local market (Oja Ikoko) in Owo, Ondo state, Nigeria. The maize and soybean flour and abari (maize pudding) was processed in Food processing Laboratory of Food Science and Technology and the analysis was carried in the Chemistry Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State.


 Production of Maize Flour

Maize The maize flour was prepared by the method reported by Asiedu (2009). Dried maize kernels were sorted to remove dirt’s and impurities, it was then washed in clean water to remove any attached dirt on the maize, after which it was dried under the for 48 hours, thereafter it was milled using attrition mill, sieved and packaged into high density polyethylene film (figure 1).




Table 4.1: Proximate composition of Abari produce from maize and soybean





The study showed that maize and soybean composite formulations can be used in the production of abari. Abari produced from blends of maize and soybean had improved protein and ash contents and improved sensory qualities. In conclusion, abari can produced from maize substitute with soybean flour up to 30% since it’s still acceptable to consumers as it retains its organoleptic properties


            It is therefore recommended that abari production from maize and soybean flour blends should be encouraged; this can help alleviate malnutrition in developing countries especially in Nigeria.



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