Nutritional status of maize fermented meal by fortification with bambara-nut
Studies were conducted to develop an appropriate household/small scale enterprise level technique for the production of bambara-nut-fortified fermented maize dough or meal by comparing different treatments, processing methods and fortification levels.The effect of fortification of maize based traditional foods with legume protein, bambara-nut at 0%. 10% and 20% replacement levels, on the rate of fermentation and organoleptic product quality were investigated. Sensory characteristics, amino acid pattern, proximate composition (moisture, protein, fat, ash, carbohydrate) pH, titratable acidity and rheological properties (pasting temperature, peak viscosity, viscosity at 95oC and 95oC hold and viscosity at 50oC) were used as the indices of quality. The results obtained showed that Bambara-nut addition caused only minimal changes in the proximate composition with the exception of protein content, which increased remarkably from 10.1% to 16.4% and 10.1% to 16.2% with 20% bambara-nut addition respectively for boiled and raw bambara-nut fortified fermented maize dough. The product pH decreased with concomitant increase in moisture, fat, ash and titratable acidity with increasing bambara-nut addition. A significant improvement was also achieved in the lysine and tryptophan pattern of the fortified dough compared to the unfortified lot. However, boiling bambara-nut for 20 min before incorporation into the maize for milling and fermentation imparted a desirable flavour. This results showed that the most appropriate technique for the production of bambara- fortified high protein fermented maize dough has been suggested to involve incorporation of boiled whole bambara-nut in soaked maize before milling and fermentation for improved sensory characteristics, enhanced nutritive value and optimal functional properties. Little or no changes in the pasting viscosity characteristics occurred in raw bambara-nut fortified fermented maize dough. Organoleptic evaluation revealed that the foods were well accepted. Based on the findings of the study, the application of Bambara-nut fortification to traditional foods suggests a viable option of promoting the nutritional quality of African maize – based traditional foods with acceptable rheological and cooking qualities.
Keywords: Fermented maize meal, bambara-nut fortification, protein quality
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