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Chemical composition and functional properties of snake gourd (<i>Trichosanthes cucumerina</i>) seed flour

A A Yusuf
O M Folarin
F O Bamiro


The chemical composition and functional properties of snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina) seed flour were studied. The effects of sample-solvent ratio, nature and
concentration of solubilizing agents, extraction time as well as sample pre-treatment on protein solubility were studied. The crude protein in the flour (N% x 6.25) was
determined to be 30.18%. The predominant mineral elements were potassium (121.60mg100-1g) and phosphorus (135.0mg 100-1g). Other elements found in fairly high amounts are Sodium, Magnesium and Zinc. Nitrogen solubility was pH dependent with a minimum value of 10% at pH 4.0 and a maximum of 40% at pH 11.0. Other functional properties, water and oil absorption, foaming and least gelation capacities, are comparable with most seeds and nuts reported in the literature. Of all the protein solubilizing agents tested, 0.03M NaOH solution at sample-solvent ratio of 1:10 and extraction period of 20mins was found to be the most effective solubilizing agent for the snakegourd seed flour protein.

Keywords: Composition, functional properties, snake gourd seed.

Nigerian Food Journal Vol. 25 (1) 2007: pp. 36-45