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PRODUCTION OF COCOYAMSNACKS FOR THE USE IN HOTEL AND CATERING INDUSTRY

ABSTRACT

The proximate and sensory analysis of the cocoyam supplemented wheat flour rock cake has been made. This was done to investigate the nutritional value and the general acceptability of the cocoyam flour supplemented rock cake. The proximate analysis indicates that the moisture content, ash and the carbohydrate increase with increasing cocoyam flour concentration.

Generally the ash content of composite rock cakes increases as the level of supplementation increases implying that the inorganic nutrients in the composite rock cake is richer than that of wheat rock cake. It is observed from the organoleptic analysis that generally, whole wheat rock cake cocoyam supplemented rock cake with cocoyam flour up to 30% is preferred to rock cake with cocoyam flour beyond 30%. Thus cocoyam flour can be used to substitute for wheat flour up to about 30%.

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0.INTRODUCTION:

Over the years, the demand for pastry products in Nigeria has been on the increase. Pastries such as rock cake and chin chins, cake and chin chins and turnovers are sold at every corner of the streets of the urban centres of Nigeria as snacks. In as much as the demand for pastry products increase, the cost of the products also becomes very expensive (Dotsey, 2009). This high cost is due to the fact that, urbanization in Nigeria has increased the consumption of processed food and bakery products as well as increased the demand for imported products. To reduce imports and to save foreign exchange, it has been proposed that wheat be substituted with alternative local products such as cassava, cocoyam, rice, sweet potato and maize flours in the production of cake and chin chins. Two types of crops are known by the name cocoyam, and are both herbaceous plants. The most common one found on the Nigerian market is formally known as new cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and its leaves are used as vegetables (kontomire). The second type is known as old cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta) or taro; it grows in marshy areas and unlike the new cocoyam, its leaves are not eaten (Dotsey, 2009). Cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) contribute significant portion of the carbohydrate content of the diet in many regions in developing countries and provide edible starchy storage corms or cormels. Although they are less important than other tropical roots such as yam, cassava and sweet potato, they are still a major staple in some parts of the tropics and sub-tropics (Opara, 2002; Ojinaka et al., 2009). The high content of calcium oxalate crystals 780 mg per 100 g in some species of cocoyam, has been implicated in the acridity or irritation caused by cocoyam. Oxalates tend to precipitate calcium and make it unavailable for use by the body. The acridity of high oxalate cultivars of cocoyam can be reduced by peeling, grating, soaking and fermenting during processing (Food-info.net, 2010). Cocoyam is used essentially the same way as yam, although it is not considered as prestigious as yam. Its flour has the added advantage that, it is highly digestible and so is used for invalids and as an ingredient in baby foods. Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is one of the most important crops in Nigeria. In Africa, most cassava that is produced is used for human food though in recent times, the industrial utilization is on the ascendency. It is estimated that cassava provided about 40% of the calories consumed in Africa (UNICEF, 1991). In Nigeria, the crop has several uses such as in: Ampesi = Boiled cassava tubers normally eaten with stew Akple = Prepared from a mixture of cassava and corn dough Fufu = Boiled and pounded cassava eaten with soup Yakayake = Steamed cassava dough Kokonte = Dried unfermented cassava chips, milled into flour and made into a thick paste and accompanied with soup, just to mention a few (Dotsey, 2009).

Recently, varied percentages of wheat flour to Cocoyam flour have been used to produce rock cake and chin chin and pastry products successfully (UNICEF, 1991). The use of locally produced Cocoyam flour to replace wheat flour as a source of carbohydrate, would reduce the cost of production and save on foreign exchange. Cocoyam does not contain any gluten and so if used to replace wheat flour 100%, the quality of the product will be different. A suitable ratio for replacing wheat flour that will appeal to consumers will depend on the kind of food. However, the properties of Cocoyam flour are similar to those of wheat flour and therefore can partially substitute for wheat flour in many wheat-based products. According to Kent and Evers (1994) flours milled from other crops such as maize, millet, sorghum, Cassava, potatoes and rice has been added to wheat flour to extend the use of the local crops to reduce the cost of wheat importation. This is practiced mostly in tropical countries where the soil and climate are not favourable for commercial large scale production of wheat. Satisfactory rock cake and chin chin has been made from such composite flour through a blend of wheat flour with other cereals and root crops. In this work, composite rock cake and chin chin made from Cocoyam flour is studied for its nutritional qualities. The analysis of its acceptance by consumers is also made.

 

1.1.BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY:

The project work is channelled towards the production of cocoyam snacks for use as breakfast in hotels and catering industry.

Cocoyam is a common name for several tropical root vegetables and may refer to:

•Taro (Colocasia esculenta) – old cocoyam

•Malanga (Xanthosoma spp.) – new cocoyam

Taro It is a food staple in African, Oceanic and South Indian cultures and is believed to have been one of the earliest cultivated plants. Colocasia is thought to have originated in the Indomalaya ecozone, perhaps in East India and Bangladesh, and spread by cultivation eastward into Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific Islands; westward to Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean Basin and then southward and westward from there into East Africa and West Africa, whence to the Caribbean and Americas. It is known by many local names and often referred to as "elephant ears" when grown as an ornamental plant.

Taro can be grown in paddy fields where water is abundant or in upland situations where water is supplied by rainfall or supplemental irrigation. Taro is one of the few crops (along with rice and lotus) that can be grown under flooded conditions. This is due to air spaces in the petiole, which permit underwater gaseous exchange with the atmosphere. For a maximum dissolved oxygen supply, the water should be cool and flowing. Warm, stagnant water causes basal rotting. For maximum yields, the water level should be controlled so that the base of the plant is always under water.

Flooded cultivation has some advantages over dry-land cultivation: higher yields (about double), out-of-season production (which may result in higher prices), and weed control (which flooding facilitates). On the other hand, in flooded production systems taro requires a longer maturation period, investment in infrastructure, and higher operational costs, and monoculture is likely.

Like most root crops, taro and eddoes do well in deep, moist or even swampy soils where the annual rainfall exceeds 2,500 mm. Eddoes are more resistant to drought and cold. The crop attains maturity within six to twelve months after planting in dry-land cultivation and after twelve to fifteen months in wetland cultivation. The crop is harvested when the plant height decreases and the leaves turn yellow. These signals are usually less distinct in flooded taro cultivation.

Harvesting is usually done by hand tools, even in mechanized production systems. First, the soil around the corm is loosened, and then, the corm is pulled up by grabbing the base of the petioles. The global average yield is 6.2tones/hectare but varies according to the region.

Xanthosoma is a genus of flowering plants in the arum family, Araceae. The genus is native to tropical America but widely cultivated and naturalized in other tropical regions. Several are grown for their starchy corms, an important food staple of tropical regions, known variously as malanga, otoy, otoe, cocoyam (or new cocoyam), tannia , tannier, yautía , macabo, ocumo, macal, taioba , dasheen , quequisque , ʻape and (in Papua New Guinea) as Singapore taro ( taro kongkong ). Many other species (including especially X. roseum) are used as ornamental plants, and in popular horticultural literature are known as ‘ape or elephant ear (from the purported resemblance of the leaf to an elephant's ear), although the latter name is sometimes also applied to members with similar appearance and uses in the closely related genera Caladium, Colocasia (i.e., taro), and Alocasia. The leaves of most Xanthosoma species are 40-200 cm long, sagittate (arrowhead-shaped) or subdivided into three or as many as 18 segments. Unlike the leaves of Colocasia, those of Xanthosoma are usually not peltate- the upper v-notch extends into the point of attachment of the leaf petiole to the blade.

 

1.2.STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:

The following forms the statement of problem that necessitated research of this project work.

a.The high cost of wheat flour baked cake and chin chin.

b.Rate of importing baked cake and chin chin.

c.Ignorance of the public about the different uses of cocoyam and its inherent nutritional contents.

d.The constant use of wheat meal flour baked cake and chin chin as breakfast in hotels and catering industry which most times are not that easy to digest.

 

1.3.OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY:

At the end of this research and its subsequent outreach to the general public, it is expected to achieve the following objectives:

a.It will bring about a great reduction to the rate of importing flours for baking.

b.It will enlighten the general public on the different uses/application of cocoyam and its inherent nutritional contents.

c.It will compete favourably with the imported baked cake and chin chins in the market where it expected to have an edge over the later because of its fast digestion process and low starch content.

d.Also, it is expected that the rate of using wheat flour cake and chin chin for breakfast in hotels and catering industry will be curtailed as soon as this research work is introduced to the public.

e.It is also expected to provide alternative option to those that don’t like the wheat flour baked cake and chin chins.

 

1.4.SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:

The significance of this project work is the advantages associated with the use of cocoyam flour in baking most of the cake and chin chins used in the hotel and catering industry due its higher nutritional contents as compared to the wheat flour as well as its digestion rate.

It have been discovered that the starch content of the cocoyam flour is lower as compared to the wheat flour. This therefore means that those with excess sugar related issues can take them comfortable with having any problem. Also, breakfast which is known for its speedy digestion accompanied by a tremendous release of energy will be boosted by the cocoyam flour since it have been discovered that the wheat flour have a slow digestion process as compared to the cocoyam flour.


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