Comparative evaluation of the effects of three local spices on nutrient and organoleptic qualities of rabbit meat
A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of three different spices of Monodora myristica (African Nutmeg), Zingiber officinale (Ginger), and Piper guineense (African Black Pepper) on nutrient composition and organoleptic characteristics of dried rabbit meats. The three spices collected as seeds were processed into meals and applied on the fresh meat cut (loin) obtained from 10 rabbit bucks. The treatments were arranged as: T1 (200g meat without spice) which served as control, T2 (200g meat +5% Nutmeg) T3 (200g meat + 10% Nutmeg), T4 (200g meat + 5% African Black Pepper) T5 (200g meat +10%) T6 (200g meat +5% 4 5 6 Ginger) T7 (200g meat +10% Ginger). Each treatment was oven-dried before presented to taste panel that adjudged the test for colour, flavour, tenderness, juiciness and overall acceptability. Samples of each spice and the processed meat were analyzed for nutrient composition. Result obtained showed that the meat is made up of protein, 50.52%, fat 6.45%, ash 5.05%, fibre 3.23%. Proximate composition of Ginger showed that it was significantly (P<0.05) higher in protein and Ash but lowest in fat and fibre while Nutmeg recorded highest fat and lowest protein level. African Black Pepper however recorded highest (P<0.05) level of fibre. The mineral and Phytochemical results of the spices indicated that Ginger and Nutmeg contained moderate levels of Phenols, saponins and glycoside. However, Ginger was higher in flavonoid and Ca even as Nutmeg was higher in flavonoid and K. African black pepper was high in Saponins, Alkaloid, Cu and Na than other spices. Results also indicated that there were significant (P<0.05) differences in terms of flavour, tenderness and overall acceptability even as meat spiced with Zingiber officinale scored highest (P<0.05) in tenderness, flavour and overall acceptability at 5% and 10% level using a 9-point hedonic scale, followed by Monodora myristica, which was not different (P>0.05) from the control while the least score was recorded in Piper guineense. Similarly, nutritional composition of meats improved in terms of protein, ash and fibre significantly (P<0.05) especially Zingiber officinale in terms of increased protein, minerals and fibre while reducing fat compared to other spices.