Effect of different Processing Methods on the Vitamin A content of Four Commonly used Green Vegetables in Ezinihite Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria
AbstractObjectives: This study was designed to identify commonly used vegetables and assess the effect of processing on the vitamin A content of four commonly used vegetables. Materials and methods: Data was collected from one hundred women systematically selected using structured, validated and pre-tested questionnaire. Information on their socioeconomic status, knowledge of vitamin A as well as methods of processing and storing the vegetables were obtained. Chemical analysis was carried out to determine vitamin A content of fresh, shade dried and sun dried vegetables as well as reheated and frozen soups/sauces. Results: Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf) had a high amount of vitamin A in the fresh state (1254.9±15.1mg/100gRE). Hibiscus esculentus (Okro) had the least vitamin A content in the shade dried (223.0±11.21mg/100gRE) state but the highest content in the sun dried state (215.7±13.91mg/100gRE). Reheating significantly reduced the vitamin A content of all the cooked soups especially on the 2nd day (p<0.05), while addition of palm oil improved vitamin A content of soups. Freezing however preserved the vitamin A content of the vegetables with the exception of Telfaria occidentalis (ugu) which had significant differences (p<0.05) on the first and second day of freezing. Conclusion: Strategies such as nutrition education and addition of palm oil to reheated foods could be an alternative way of improving Vitamin A content of soups. Keywords: Processing, preservation, storage, Vitamin A, green vegetables
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