Effects of Some Chemical Food Additives on the Shelf-Life Stability of Plantain Chips Stored at Ambient Temperature
AbstractObjective: The effects of some chemical food additives (salt, citric acid and ascorbic acid) on the shelf-life stability of plantain chips, stored at ambient temperature (28 - 37°C) were studied. Method: Fully unripe true horn plantain (Musa species) sliced into 2mm thick were blanched for 3seconds, drained, cooled and treated with ascorbic acid, citric acid, salt (3g in each case/300g of sliced plantain) and their combinations (1.5g of each additive) and fired in deep fat at 180oC for 3-5minutes. The control was untreated and fried at the same temperature and time with Devon Kings vegetable oil. The chips were packaged in polyethylene bags (1.1um) commonly called (Santana), sealed and stored at ambient temperature. Proximate compositions, microbial and sensory qualities of the chips were evaluated at weekly intervals for four (4) weeks using standard methods. The data obtained were analyzed using appropriate statistics. Result: The iodine value (101.5mg/100g), saponification (189.70mg/g), free fatty acid (0.25%), acid value (0.50mg/NaOH/g) and specific gravity (0.91) of the oil indicated that the oil was suitable for chips production. Samples treated with additives and their combinations retained their nutrient compositions, except for moisture. Microbial analysis indicated that samples treated with citric acid, ascorbic acid and their combination had lower total yeast, mould and bacteria counts than the salt treated and the untreated (control) samples. However, control sample showed signs of oxidation after 4weeks. The sample treated with salt only was significantly different (P<0.05) from others in colour, taste and overall acceptability. Citric acid and combination of citric acid and salt treated samples were preferred to others in texture and aroma. Conclusion: The chemical additives conferred antimicrobial, antioxidant and preservative properties on the plantain chips and therefore prolonged the shelf life up to four weeks. Keywords: Plantain chips, chemical food additives, shelf-life stability
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