EVALUATION OF PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF AFRICAN BREADFRUIT STARCH CONCENTRATE
African breadfruit (Treculia africana) constitutes a strategic reserve of essential food nutrients that are available at certain critical periods of the year when reliable sources of these nutrients are under cultivation and are very scarce. Diverse food forms could be produced from the seeds on the basis of custom, tradition, ethnic background. It is boiled and consumed as white porridge and sauce with or without fresh corn, roasted and consumed with coconut or palm kernel as snack, made into refreshing milk drink, prepared into flour as soup condiment or thickener and for bakery and confectionaries. In the past the consumption was limited to poor village dwellers for whom it supplemented their diets during times of food scarcity and substituted the more expensive rice during festivals and other ceremonies on the basis of tradition and cost (Nwabueze and Nwokenna, 2006). But today, African breadfruit has become a delicacy and a specialized meal not only for the rich and the urban dwellers in Nigeria but has also become a foreign exchange earner. Dehulled kernels are sun-dried and exported to cater for the African consumer overseas (Akubor, 2000).
African breadfruit seed is of high nutritional value. Each seed contains about 14-17% crude protein, 2.5% crude fibre, 35-60% carbohydrate and a good supply of vitamins and minerals (Akubor, 2000). The amino acid composition has also been highlighted to further buttress its nutritional potentials (Nwabueze, 2007).
Some of the starch properties obtained from mature fruits have been studied (Tumaalii and Wooton, 1988). Although the major commercial sources of starch are cereal grains seeds (Maize, wheat, rice), tubers (potato) and certain roots (sweet potato, cassava), several potential non conventional sources have been reported (Rincon and Perez, 1999). One of the potential alternative sources of commercial starch could be the seedless fruit, due to its high yield.
The potentials of African breadfruit as a nutrient resource and its position in the food cycle of the people makes its blending with other local ingredients is important way of expanding the scope of its utilization.
The objectives of this study are to:
- extract and analyse the starch content of African breadfruit seed.
- determine the yield of starch in African bread fruit seed.
- Know the starch concentrate as an ingredient requires that its utilization properties match a particular application.
This research work lead to the processes that are involved in the starch concentrate production and their utilization which may be valuable to the food and non food industry.