Proximate and Sensory Evaluation of “ugu” (Telfairia Occidentilis) Leaves Dehydrated Under Different Conditions
In this work, freshly harvested ugu leaves (T. Occidentialis) was sorted, washed, and prepared into three different sizes represented as whole leaf, 1mm cutting and 2mm cutting. Each of these sample were dehydrated under the different conditions of sun-drying (SD), under shade-drying (UD) and room drying (RD) conditions in a complete randomized block design (CRBD). The samples were reduced to 5.0 moisture within 3 days. Sensory evaluation of egusi soup prepared with each of the dried ugu leaf sample, and that of a fresh sample (FR) revealed that the dried Ugu leave were equally acceptable for soup making as the fresh leaves. However the sun-dried whole ugu leaf (SDW) were significantly better than all the other dried ugu sample at P< 0.05. proximate result on the SDW and that of fresh ugu leaf revealed high values in the protein, fat, ash and carbohydrate content of the dried ugu leaf. Therefore this work revealed that drying can be used to preserved ugu without affecting its sensory and nutritional quality.
“Ugu” (Telfaira occidentialis) is a tropical vine grown in West Africa as a leafy vegetable and for its edible seeds. Common names for the plant include fluted gourd, fluted pumpkin and “Ugu”. Telfaira Occidentialis is a member of the curcurbitaceae family and is indigenous to southern Nigeria. (Akaoroda, 1990). The fluted gourd grow in many nations of west Africa but is mainly cultivated in Nigeria, used primarily in soups and herbal medicines. (Nwanna et al., 2008). The plant is a drought tolerant dioeciously perennial that is usually grown.
Telfaira Occidentialis is traditionally used by an estimated 30 to
35 million people in Nigeria, including the Efiki, Ibibio and urohbo. However, it is predominantly used by the Igbo tribe, who continue to cultivate the gourd for food sources and traditional medicines (Okoli, 1983). A subject in the Igbo’s folklore, the fluted ground is noted to having healing properties and was used as a blood tonic, administered to the weak or ill. It is endermic to southern Nigeria and was an asset to international food trades of the Igbo tribe (Akorada, 1990)
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
“Ugu” Telfaira Occidentialis are prone to chilling injury when kept at low temperature. The season and time of harvest also play an important role in storage of “ugu’ leave. It has a very short shelf-life and can only be kept for only 6days at 29.1oc and 64. 5% relative humidity beyond which physiological breakdown of tissues lead to deterioration and total post-harvest losses, so modern storage facility like refrigeration and freezing has not adequately addressed the perishability of “ugu” due to it’s peculiar properties.
Besides, its bulky nature leads to low portability and consequently lead to the increase in its costs in off seasons of the year. There is need therefore to evolve a suitable technology that can be used to process “ugu” leaves which would enhance its shelf- life reduce its bulkiness for transportation and make it suitable for proper packaging as a food product.
- JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
This project work is an attempt to proffer a reliable means of hygienically processing and packaging of fresh “ugu” leave in its dried form. The achievement of this will help increase its shelf-life, boost its commercial value and as well enhance its portability and availability in off-seasons.
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the project work-are:
- To process “ugu” leave into dried form by dehydrating.
- To carryout an organoleptic (sensory) evaluation of meals prepared with dehydrated “ugu’ leave as compared to fresh “ugu” leave thereby determine the lever of acceptance of the dried “ugu” leaf.
- To carry out proximate analysis on the dried ‘ugu” leaves in order to compare its nutritional profile with that of fresh “ugu” leaves.