Experimental Determination of the Effects of Pre-treatment on the Nutritional Quality of Cocoyam Chips.

This paper presents the experimental determination of the effect of pre-treatments on the quality of cocoyam, with emphasis on the fundamental nutritional contents of cocoyam chips. The proximate composition of the sliced samples were determined using gravimetric method for moisture content, and AOAC methods for ash content, crude protein, fat content, crude fibre and carbohydrate content. Cocoyam sample replicates were subjected to three different treatments of blanching, steeping and natural state (control) before being dried at levels of oven temperatures (500c and 70oc). The results indicated that the protein, fat, ash, crude fibre and carbohydrate contents ranged between 2.1 – 5.6%, 1.5 and 27%, 2 and 4.5%, 1.5-9.5%, 23.7% and 43.25% respectively.The ANOVA outcomes obtained with respect to the different treatments and temperatures indicated that there was a significant difference (P<0.05) in the nutritional content of the cocoyam slices. More so, there was a huge difference between the steeped sample dried at 500C and the steeped sample dried at 700C. For the pre-treatment method that preserves nutritional and functional values, samples that were steeped and oven-dried at 500C gave better results for protein. The blanched dried sample at 500C gave more desirable result for fat result while the untreated dried sample at 500C gave better crude fibre result. It is therefore concluded that the pre-treatment of cocoyam chips has an effect on its nutritional quality. With the outcome of this study, it becomes imperative to recommend that an optimal oven temperature of 50oC and blanching treatment be used to process and maintain the nutritional contents of cocoyam for secondary products applications. Keywords: Cocoyam chips, Nutritional quality, Pre-treatment, Proximate composition, Blanch & Steep.

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