EVALUATION OF THE EFFECT OF PREGELATION CONDITIONS ON THE PHYSICO-CHEMICAL AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF TARO (Colocasia esculenta) FLOUR.
Keywords:Food insecurity, Taro, Flour, Pre-gelatinization.
Under the threat of food insecurity, various strategies have been implemented to help curb food losses and diversify utilization of under-produced, underutilized and underexplored food ingredients through value addition. Like most roots and tubers, Taro (Colocasia esculenta) corms have a short shelf life due to the high moisture content. They also contain high amounts of calcium oxalates which limit their use in food applications. This study aimed at evaluating the physico-chemical and functional properties of taro flour as affected by the pre-gelatinization conditions (i.e., method and time). Pre-gelatinized taro flour was prepared by subjecting peeled and cleaned taro corms to roasting (190°C), boiling (100°C), and steaming (100°C) for 10mins, 20mins and 30mins respectively. Generally, all the properties of flour were significantly affected by the pre-gelatinization conditions (P < 0.05). The oxalate content of the pre-gelatinized taro flour ranged from 33.26 to 76.90. Pre-gelatinization by boiling resulted in a significant reduction of the oxalate content, while roasting resulted in the least reduction. The L, hue, and chroma ranged from 38.47-70.30, 42.64-69.43, and 7.78-10.58, respectively. Roasting resulted in flour with the largest L values and hue angle. Boiling also resulted in flour with the highest bulk density (BD) and the lowest water solubility index (WSI). Steaming had the highest water absorption index (WAI), water holding capacity (WHC), and swelling capacity (SC). Roasting had the highest water solubility index. This study shows that the properties of taro flour could influence its use in other food applications and increase its utilization and production simultaneously.
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