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This study aimed at assessing the functional and pasting properties of flour blends from wheat and Bambara nut; their potential in the making of bread was also evaluated. Flour blends were formulated in respective percentages of 95:5, 90:10, 85:15 and 80:20 from wheat and Bambara nut. Analysis of the flour blends indicated that higher contents (%) of ash, crude fibre, crude fat and crude protein (3.75, 1.51, 6.01 and 16.21 respectively) were recorded for whole Bambara nut flour (WBF) than other flour samples. The highest values of 0.87 g/ml and 3.11 g/g were recorded as bulk density and oil absorption capacity respectively in whole wheat flour (WWF). Pasting properties, including peak viscosity (155 RVU), trough viscosity (68 RVU), final viscosity (781 RVU) and setback viscosity (80 RVU) were
higher in WWF than others. The composite bread samples showed reduction in anti-nutrients of oxalates, phytates, tannins, polyphenolic compounds, trypsin inhibitor and lectins compared to those present in flour blends. Higher contents (%) of ash, crude fibre, crude fat and crude protein were recorded in bread samples produced from 15 and 20 % substitutions of WBF than in lower substitutions of WBF. The bread samples produced from WWF recorded higher mean scores of 8.12, 8.07, 7.02, 7.83 and 7.89 in the sensory attributes of crust-colour, aroma, appearance,
internal texture and taste than others, although no significant difference (p>0.05) was recorded. All bread samples were generally acceptable by the panelists and no significant difference (p>0.05) was noted between them in the attributes tested, except for the sample produced from WBF (p<0.05). The study concluded that nutritionally and organoleptically acceptable bread could be produced from flour blends of wheat and Bambara nut with up to 10% substitution in wheat.
Keywords: Bambara nut, bread, pasting properties, antinutrients, sensory attributes.