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Effects of Processing Techniques on Chemical, Functional and Microbial Properties of Two Varieties of Lima Bean (Phaseolus Lunatus) and Maize (Zea Mays) Flours and Sensory Properties of their Products

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Effects of Processing Techniques on Chemical, Functional and Microbial Properties of Two Varieties of Lima Bean (Phaseolus Lunatus) and Maize (Zea Mays) Flours and Sensory Properties of their Products.


This study evaluated the effects of different domestic food processing techniques on the nutrients, antinutrients, food toxicants composition, functional properties, microbial types and sensory properties of food products based on two varieties of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus). Black and dark red varieties of lima bean were purchased, cleaned, cooked, soaked, dehulled, xv germinated, fermented and milled into fine flours.

Both the unprocessed and processed flours were analysed for microflora composition, chemical, functional and sensory properties using standard methods. The 48h fermented maize and lima bean flours that had traces of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) were selected because they had the best nutrient profiles in a ratio of 70:30 (protein basis) to formulate composite flours for moi-moi and akara production.

Two local dishes (oshoto and ikpaki) were prepared from whole unprocessed lima bean and maize. The data were statistically analyzed using percentages, means and standard deviation. Duncan’s new multiple range test was adopted to separate and compare means. The 3 and 9h soaking as well as 48h fermentation increased protein in black lima bean (26.07, 26.68 and 32.67%, respectively).

On the other hand, dehulling and cooking, 6 and 9h soaking, 72, 96 and 120h germination as well as 48h fermentation increased protein in dark red lima bean. These treatments equally decreased fat, ash and fibre in both varieties. Carbohydrate was increased in both varieties. Dehulling, cooking and 24h fermentation increased zinc in black and decreased it in dark red variety. Processing decreased copper, iron and phosphorus in black lima bean.


In Nigeria, a lot of under exploited plant food crops with promising nutritional potentials exist. Lima bean is one of the under exploited food crops with nutritional and food industry processing potentials. Lima bean is among the lesser known legumes in the southern part of Nigeria. The food crop is one of the traditional staples that in the most recent decades was neglected. However, the neglect is attributed to difficulties in production, processing, preparation, utilization and negative image attached to it as “poor man’s food”.

Lima bean has longer cooking time, especially as compared with other legumes. This longer cooking time phenomenon is a particular drawback for its cultivation and food use. It is imperative to investigate the positive attributes of this important food legume mostly its nutrient potentials. Legumes as protein-rich crops are important source of protein for human food and animal feed. In 1972-1974, legumes contributed 7% to the total protein supply worldwide (FAO, 1982).

Generally, legumes contain 17-25% protein (about double that in most cereals) except soybean which contains about 40% protein (Enwere, 1998). Legumes are usually consumed in combination with cereals such as rice, maize, millet, and sorghum. They are sometimes combined with roots and tubers such as yam, cassava, potatoes, and cocoyam or consumed with plantains and bananas. Studies have shown that legume proteins complement cereal and roots to provide an ideal source of dietary protein of vegetable origin for human beings (Latham, 1997).

This is because cereal protein which is deficient in lysine and rich in methionine and cystine complement legume proteins which are rich in lysine and poor in methionine and cystine (Bressani, 1975; Segal and Fawcelt, 1976). Despite the high nutrient content of legume seeds, their utilization is impaired by some inherent constraints such as the presence of several antinutrients and food toxicants. The type and concentration of these antinutrients vary in different legumes (Leiner, 1980). 


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CSN Team.

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