ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALITY AND STABILITY OF ETHANOL EXTRACTS OF CONOIDES MILLER AND LONGUM NIGRUM (CAPSICUM ANNUUM).

ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALITY AND STABILITY OF ETHANOL EXTRACTS OF CONOIDES MILLER AND LONGUM NIGRUM (CAPSICUM ANNUUM).

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ABSTRACT

Available synthetic colour additives used in food have been shown to exhibit genotoxic

effects and pose several potential health hazards to human. Hence, the global increase in the

demands for natural colour additives. This study therefore investigated the quality and

stability of ethanolic extracts from Capsicum annuum for use as food colourants. Colour

pigments and other constituents were extracted from bell pepper (var. conoides miller) and

sweet pepper (var.longum nigrum) using ethanol. The extracts were subjected to pH

adjustment and addition of ascorbic acid as stabilizer under varying conditions of light (white

light, UV light and in the dark). The results showed that the extracts maintained their colour

at an acidic pH. The yield of colour pigments and other constituents from both varieties were

high (above 70%) and they also had good colouring ability as shown by their colour units of

24,460 for bell pepper (var. conoides miller) and 27,645 for sweet pepper (var. longum

nigrum). The data from this study suggests that the most suitable condition to maintain

stability is in acid media and 0.5% ascorbic acid kept in the dark. Also both extracts had a

low energy value, they need to be fortified while being incorporated into food.

1.0            INTRODUCTION

1.1               Food Additives

Food additives are substances usually added to foods in small quantities during the process of

production, storage and/or packaging in order to improve the appearance, texture, taste,

colour, smell, durability, or nutritional value (FI, 2010). In the United States, colours added to

foods are referred to as food additives under the 1958 Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act and are

defined as ―any dye, pigment or substance which imparts color when added or applied to a

food, drug or cosmetic, or to the human body‖(USFDCA2014). Consumers naturally enjoy

bright colours in foodbecause,as thesayinggoes, people―taste‖first with their eyes,then

their mouths (Chaitanya, 2014; Matulka and Tardy, 2014). Colour is one of the most

important sensory qualities as it helps us to accept or reject particular food items. It is used as

a measure of the quality and nutrient content of foods (Chaitanya, 2014). Colour is important

in consumer perception of food and it is often associated with a specific flavour and intensity

of flavour (Abdeldaiem, 2014). People often associate certain colours with certain flavours,

and the colour of food can influence the perceived flavour in anything from candy to wine

(Jeannine, 2003). It is very unfortunate that most manufacturing process in food processing

decreases the inherent colour(s) contained in food. For instance, the simple act of heating can

destroy pigment molecules like anthocyanins that provide the attractive bright red and blue

shades in fruits and berries (Laleh et al., 2006).

Food colour is an additive in the form of any dye, pigment or any substance that is used to

give foodstuff a more attractive look or impart colour. They come in numerous forms

consisting of liquids, powders, gels and pastes. Some are natural colours, but most are

artificial and may have toxic properties (Abdeldaiem, 2014; Eissa et al., 2014). These

1


additives are added to food to replace or boost colour lost as a result of processing procedures

such as exposure to light, temperature extremes, moisture and storage conditions.

Furthermore, they may be added to correct natural variations in food colour, to minimize

batch variations in processing, enhance colours that occur naturally in food or provide colour

to colourless and "fun" foods or make food more attractive, appetizing, informative and

finally allow consumers to identify products on sight (Barrows et al., 2009; Chaitanya, 2014;

Saltmarsh and Insall, 2013). The importance of food colour additives cannot be over

emphasized. For instance, without colour additives, colas would not be brown, margarine

would not be yellow and mint ice cream would not be green (Katz, 2014). Colour additives

are now recognized as an important part of practically all processed foods.

An increasing number of commercial colour additives, which are used as food colourants

have been shown to exhibit genotoxic effects (Eissa et al., 2014). Hence, the need for colour

additive from natural sources, since the commercially available colour additives possess

potential hazards to the human health (Kirti et al., 2014; Chengaiah, et al., 2011). Globally,

there is an increasing demand towards the use of natural colour additives in food. Much

awareness is created amongst consumers regarding natural products and adopting a more

natural way of life. In recent times, it has been observed that people now prefer natural food,

herbal medicines,


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