Sensory Attributes of Fermented and Unfermented Sweet Potato-Pigeon Pea Weaning Food
Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this project study is to examine the physicochemical and sensory properties of fermented and unfermented sweet potato-pigeon pea-weaning food.
Objectives of the study
The objectives of the study include the following:
- to produce fermented and unfermented sweet potato-pigeon pea weaning food
- to evaluate the proximate, functional and sensory properties of the samples
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas)
Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] is the sixth most important food crop in the world, and new uses for this crop have been identified. Sweetpotato is one of the crops selected by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to be grown in a controlled ecological life support system as a primary food source. Recent studies show that sweetpotato contains such functional components as polyphenols, anthocyanins and dietary fiber, which are important for human health (Ishiguro et al., 2004).
Sweetpotato roots are a good source of carbohydrates, while sweetpotato tops (leaves and stems) contain additional nutritional components in much higher concentrations than in many other commercial vegetables. Sweetpotato leaves are cooked as a vegetable in many parts of the world. They are rich in vitamin B, ßcarotene, iron, calcium, zinc and protein, and the crop is more tolerant of diseases, pests and high moisture than many other leafy vegetables grown in the tropics. Because sweetpotato tops can be harvested several times a year, their annual yield is much higher than many other green vegetables (Ishiguro et al., 2004).
Sweetpotato is one of the most important summer food crops in the southern United States. It is a versatile plant. For example, it is used as food, as livestock feed and for starch and alcohol production. The tips can be cooked together with other ingredients in various dishes, or they can be dried and stored for later use as a boiled or fried vegetable. Researchers in North Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas and Alabama are contributing to the value of sweetpotato by finding new uses (Islam, 2006).
Arkansas is not a major sweetpotato growing state. Although soil and climate are favorable for production, Arkansas growers cannot compete economically with neighboring producer states North Carolina, Louisiana and Mississippi. Only recently have some small scale farmers in south Arkansas become interested and have planted about 5,000 acres of sweetpotato, mostly for fresh market (Woolfe, 2002).
Sweetpotato may become a profitable leafy vegetable crop in Arkansas if appropriate varieties were available or could be developed. Several researchers report that sweetpotato leaves are an excellent source of antioxidative polyphenolics, among them anthocyanins and phenolics, and are superior to other commercial vegetables. The nutritional value of sweetpotato leaves is gaining recognition, as the understanding between diet and health increases. Sweetpotato leaves with their high nutritive value and antioxidants may become an excellent leafy vegetable (Villareal et al., 2002).
Distribution and Growth Habitat of Ipomoea batatas
Scientists believed that Ipomoea batatas was domesticated more than 5000 years ago. Recent evidence showed that Ipomoea batatas was originated from Central-America although contradicting reports claimed that it was from South America (Natural History Museum, 2007). Ipomoea batatas was widely established in the Americas by the time Europeans first arrived there and was spread to the Old World through various routes. Due to its hardy nature and broad adaptability, Ipomoea batatas successfully spread through Asia and Africa during the 17th and 18th centuries. According to FAOSTAT data, approximately eight million hectares of land were harvested resulting in approximately 107 million tons of Ipomoea batatas roots from more than 100 countries in the year 2010 alone (FAOSTAT, 2012).
Asia is the world’s largest sweetpotato producing region with an annual production of approximately 88 million tons and China contributes about 80% of this amount. Nearly half of these productions were used as animal feed while the remaining was used for human consumption. In contrast, the African region produced about 14 million tons of Ipomoea batatas roots annually but most of this crop is cultivated for human consumption (FAOSTAT, 2012). Previous research on Ipomoea batatas has been focusing on the yield and nutrient improvements in the storage roots although both the Ipomoea batatas roots and tops possess a variety of compounds which are beneficial to human health.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) and Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajam) used in the research work was purchased from a local market in Owo, Ondo State. The samples were processed in Food Processing Laboratory, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria
Preparation of fermented sweet potato-pigeon pea flour
Fresh sweet potato root were washed, peeled, sliced and pigeon pea seeds were winnowed, sorted, drained. The two cleaned samples (sliced sweet potato root and washed pigeon pea were soaked together i.e fermented together for 72 hours. After 72 hours the fermented samples it was washed, wet milled, sieved, sedimented for 24 hours, drained, sun dried for 3 days and dry milled into powder, sieved and packaged in airtight container for further analysis (Fig. 1).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Table 4.1: Sensory properties of fermented and unfermented sweet potato-pigeon pea weaning food
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Sensory attributes helps in the formulation of profitable strategy and product development, sensory testing can help to pinpoint the imperative sensory characteristics driving acceptability. The project was conducted to study the sensory attributes fermented and unfermented sweet potato-pigeon pea weaning food. From the results observed, the unfermented weaning food surpasses the fermented weaning food in all area of sensory tests. This can be due to processing procedure of the weaning food which is fermentation. In conclusion, the unfermented weaning food produced from sweet potato-pigeon pea is better and is accepted generally by consumers.
Based on the finding above it is therefore recommended that study should be conducted on how to retain the organoleptic/sensory properties (colour, taste, aroma and texture) of fermented weaning produce from sweet potato-pigeon pea weaning food.
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