INFLUENCE OF PUMPKIN (Cucurbita maxima) SEEDS FLOUR ENRICHMENT ON QUALITY PROPERTIES OF MAIZE (Zea mays L.) FLOUR FRITTERS (ZITUMBUWA)
Keywords:Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM), Fritters, Food Security, Pumpkins, Compositing
The double burden malnutrition such as protein energy malnutrition (PEM) and overweight persists to be a health problem in sub-Saharan Africa including Malawi due to poor diet. Compositing is one of the widely used methods in enriching some of the most consumed foods with limiting nutrients such as proteins. The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of pumpkin seeds flour and processing methods on proximate properties of fritters. Flour blends of pumpkin seed and maize were produced in the following ratios of maize: pumpkin seeds; 100:0, 85:15, 70:30 and 55:45. A Stiff paste was divided into two; the first part was moulded and deep-fried while the second part was baked. Proximate analysis was done on the flour blends and the fritters. For the flour blends; Moisture, ash, fibre, fat, and carbohydrates content were 5.3- 9.29, 1.71- 3.90, 2.29- 7.07, 6.59 - 39.88, 11.96 -35.80 and 8.05 – 68.15 respectively. For the fried fritters; Moisture, ash, fibre, fat, and carbohydrates content ranged from 7.58-.11.83%, 1.6-2.22%, 1.45-2.38%, 10.01-17.48%, 9.46-16.1% and 54.32-65.64 while for baked fritters these ranged from 6.51-9.99%, 1.48-2.34%, 1.36-2.48%, 7.18-13.98, 8.66-14.92% and 59.79-71.32 respectively. Comparing the two processing, fried fritters had high nutrients than baked fritters except on carbohydrates. Baking had a significant (p≤0.05) effect on all the proximate contents. The study findings may contribute to food security by diversifying use of pumpkins seeds and also reduce PEM and overweight due to enrichment and low fat in baked fritters.
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