EFFECT OF PROCESSING ON THE STORAGE STABILITY AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES OF COWPEA FLOUR IN THE PRODUCTION OF MOIN-MOIN AND AKARA
Flours prepared from cowpea variety white using different processing methods (germination, heat treatment, fermentation and the untreated flour) were evaluated for proximate composition, functional, sensory properties and storage stability. The fermented and germinated samples were found to be richer in carbohydrate content with 59.72% and 57.78% respectively while the untreated flour had the highest protein content (27.87%). The untreated flour also compared favorably with the control (wet processed paste) in terms of organoleptic properties in the production of akara and moin-moin. For storage, after three months, the germinated cowpea flour was found to be more stable in terms of reduction in moisture with 10.2%, followed by fermented and untreated flour and then heat treated flour with 10.6%, 10.6% and 10.8% respectively. The fermented flour sample resulted in a high free fatty acid (0.84%) which is liable to rancidity and off flavour, followed by germinated flour (0.40%). The heat treated and untreated cowpea flour proved to be more stable with a free fatty acid content of 0.23% each.