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Evaluation of the quality of malted acha-soy breakfast cereal flour

Helen Obioma Agu
JA Ayo
AIO Jideani


Breakfast cereals are increasingly in demand for health reasons and are primarily made from different cereal grains. Acha (Digitaria exilis Stapf) cereal grain and malted soybean flours (MSFs) were used in the ratio 100:0, 90:10, 80:20, 70:30, and 60:40 to produce five Acha-soy breakfast cereal (ASC) products. Acha grains were cleaned, washed, dried, milled and sieved through 600 μm sieve to obtain wholemeal flour. The soybean was soaked (24 hr), drained, germinated (96 hr), dried using cabinet drier at 60oC for 8 hr, devegetated, winnowed, dry milled and sieved to obtain flour. The quality of ASC flour products was assessed in terms of proximate analysis, energy content and microbial analysis. Significant differences (p<0.05) existed in all the proximate and energy compositions. There was a general increase in protein, fat and ash contents as the proportion of malted soybean increased while crude fibre, moisture and carbohydrate contents decreased. The energy contents increased with increase in the proportion of malted soybean. Microbial analysis showed no count at first week for both bacteria and fungi. Microbial growth began during the second week after production and increased with storage time. Sensory evaluation was conducted on gruel (thin porridge) made from ASC products. There were significant differences (p<0.05) in aroma, flavour, texture and overall acceptability amongst the products. A general decrease existed in the mean scores of the breakfast gruel in all the parameters monitored with increase in MSF. Whole meal Acha breakfast gruel (100%) had the highest mean values except in flavour while ASC gruel (60:40%) had the lowest mean value in all the parameters. Gruel made from 10 and 20% MSFs had the best sensory qualities. These results showed the potential utilization of this unique cereal grain (Acha/fonio) in enriched breakfast cereal production targeting diabetic individuals and the efforts made to introduce a semi-finished Acha product in the market.

Keywords: Proximate, Sensory, Microbiological qualities, breakfast, Cereal flour, Gruel, Acha, Malted soybean