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The study determined nutrient composition and organoleptic attributes of fresh and sundried carica papaya L pawpaw (Mbuer) and solanum macrocrpon egg (Mngishim) fruit soups consumed in Tiv communities of Benue State, Nigeria. Processing, preparation and utilization of fresh and sundried pawpaw and garden egg fruits for soup production information was obtained from focus group discussion (FGD).The recipes used for the work was based on t mean values after (FGD). The fruits were sundried for 72h, cooked with ground egusi, beniseed and groundnut seeds as thickeners. Proximate and micronutrient were determined using standard analytical procedures. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Duncan,s new multiple range test at 5% probability was used to separate and compare means and was accepted at (p≤0.05) for the organoleptic test. Proximate composition for fresh uncooked pawpaw fruits had higher moisture (72.57%), carbohydrate (20.55%), crude fibre (2.68%), protein (1.65%), ash (1.45%) and fat (1.10%) relative to those of garden egg fruits 90.54, 3.92, 2.55, 1.52, 1.36 and 0.11%, respectively. Dehydration increased nutrient values for garden egg fruits relative to pawpaw fruits. Sun drying increased iron (0.60mg), magnesium (63.23%), phosphorus (98.76mg) and sodium (26.58mg) values to pawpaw fruit. Iron (0.46mg), zinc (0.63mg), magnesium (53.25mg), phosphorus (103.29mg) and sodium (24.19mg) values increased in garden egg fruit. Vitamin profile for fresh and sun dried pawpaw and garden egg fruits had differences. Dehydration decreased β-carotene, thiamin and vitamin C values for pawpaw. It increased thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pyridoxine values for garden egg fruits. Proximate composition for soups based for these fruits showed that fresh unripe pawpaw and beniseeds as thickener (FPB) had the highest fat (15.86%), carbohydrate (8.50%), protein (4.63%), crude fibre (4.44%), ash (1.79%) and moisture (63.28%). The soups based on fresh garden egg soups and cooked with egusi (FGE) as thickener had highest nutrient profile. The soup based on sundried garden egg soup had varied nutrients relative to other soups. Sun dried pawpaw fruit and beniseed soup (DPB) had highest protein (5.86%), fat (15.25%) and fibre (5.66%).Sundried garden egg fruits soup with egusi (DGE) had highest value for protein (5.67%) and ash (4.76%),each. The soups based on fresh and dried pawpaw and garden egg soups contain energy that ranged from 173.81-197.55kcal. Among the three soup thickeners, egusi had much more increased in minerals relative to those soups based on beniseed and groundnut FP and FG fruits soups. Groundnut caused more increased in garden egg fruit soups. Beniseed soup had more vitamin relative to those soups based on egusi and groundnut.The vitamins for fresh pawpaw soup with egusi increased much more in garden egg fruits soups. Vitamin profile for dehydrated fruits soups caused significant differences for pawpaw and garden egg soups. Dehydrated pawpaw and egusi DPE soup supplied 2.56% of RDA of calcium daily. The FPB and the FGE produced 15.72%, and 546.67% RDA thiamin needed daily. Comparison of nutrient densities for energy with FAO/WHO/UNU values per 1000kcal. The fresh and dried pawpaw and garden egg soups met over 70% protein.FPE had 88.11%, DPE had 95.38% and the FGE had 73.60%. Most of the values for Vitamin C, calcium and sodium met their requirement values. Scores for all organoleptic attributes of the twelve (12) soups were more than half. The FP and the FG soups scores from (5.63 to 8.17).The DP and DG based soups were from (5.23 to 7.47) of the nine hedonic. The soups were generally acceptable. The FGE and the DGE soups were the most preferred by the panelist.


1.0                                                        INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the study

Most Nigerian dishes consumed have local variations and include ingredients available in that locality, which may have different names according to the region. These variations may be a function of the socio-economic status of the cook or factors such as educational level, food taboos, cultural and religious practices, cost, season and nutrition knowledge (Bender and Bender, 1982). The amount of food one eats is just as important as the quality of the food, and to maintain the best nutrition status, an individual’s diet must be adequate both in quality and quantity. The community feeding pattern and nutritional status of individual depends to a large extent on the diet consumed and physical activity that are involved (Madukwe and Ene-Obong, 2002). The nutrition requirements of all the family members can be met by varying the quantity of food items and by proper combination of foods. Nutritionists and other health  professionals are increasingly alarmed at the frequent and growing disparity between the amount of food people need to meet dietary and energy needs and the amount of food they actually consume (Nutrition Update, 2004).

A major contributor to our nation’s overall poor health status is insufficient intake of required food nutrients which are related to food insecurity, diseases; excessive and/or unbalanced food intake (Latham, 1997).

Most recipes are not established in Nigeria. Based on this, little research was conducted in this area including other developing countries. Researchers, who are willing to assess the nutrient intake of diverse food groups in Nigeria, have to rely mostly on the few food composition Tables available (Oguntona, Odunmbaku & Ottun, 1999).

Most of these Tables contain information on raw foods and very little on cooked foods which call for need to fill the existing gap on Nigerian local foods (Onabanjo & Oguntona, 2003).

Fruits and vegetables remain an important source of nutrients in many parts of the world. They offer advantages over dietary supplements because of low cost and wide availability. They also contribute significantly to food security (Kenny, 2002).  The accurate measurement of fruits and vegetable intake is essential to provide valid messages about fruit and vegetables and health. (FAO\WHO, 2004).

 Pawpaw (Carica papaya L.) is commonly known as mbuer in Tiv, okwuru ezi in lgbo, ibepe in Yoruba and gwanda in Hausa. Garden egg (Solanum macrocarpon L) is known as mngishim in Tiv, anara in lgbo, yalo in Hausa and igba in Yoruba. The fruits had numerous nutritional and health benefits. Its consumption aids digestion of other foods rich in vitamins A, B and C. It is one of the cheapest economically important fruits that is grown and consumed for its nutritional content and characteristics in the country (Baiyewu & Amusa, 2005).

The ripe Carica papaya L fruit is consumed fresh as a breakfast or dessert fruit. Green or unripe fruits are used as ingredients in salads and cooked dishes (De La Cruz, Gutierrez & Garcia, 2002). Its fruits consist mostly of water, carbohydrate, low calories and rich in natural vitamins A and C and minerals (Oloyede, 2005).

Garden egg (Solanum Macrocarpon L) is a highly valued delicacy and constituent of the African food. The benefits of eating (Solanum Macrocarpon L) extend far beyond ensuring that one’s desire for a good meal is satisfied. It can be eaten raw or cooked and commonly consumed during wedding ceremony because it symbolizes fertility and blessing. It is used in soups and stews in their fresh forms (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF), 1997). The unripe Carica Papaya L fruit has a high latex content that may make it unsuitable for raw consumption. Unripe green Carica Papaya L is used as vegetable. It does not contain carotene but contains all other nutrients.  However, raw shredded green pawpaw is often used in Asian salads, or cut into pieces and eaten with vegetables (Okeke, Ene-Obong, Uzuegbunam, Ozioko and Kuhnlein, 2008).

The majority of the populace has known these fruits to be eaten in their fresh forms. However, in Tiv communities the unripe/green Carica Papaya L fruits are peeled, sliced and cook fresh or dried in the sun and used as a vegetable just like pumpkin leaves with groundnut, and or melon seeds (egusi) in soup form. The dried Carica Papaya L soup is prepared with either groundnut paste or benniseed (sesame seed) as thickeners just like egusi. This soup is known and referred to as “Igyande mbuer” in Tiv. The Solanum macrocarpon L fruit is also sliced and eaten fresh or dried and used as a vegetable in melon, sesame or groundnut soups called “Igyande mngishi in Tiv language. These methods of processing reduce the issue of food insecurity and make the fruits available all year round and diversify their food use. In Nigeria, soups form major part of our meal, there is no part of the country that doesn’t have particular soups that is peculiar to that area and most of these soups may have some promising potentials which may be beneficial to the entire country. Researching about some Nigerian soups will not only diversify the food use of these soups but it will also reduce the issue of food insecurity in the country.

The harmonization of various soup recipe collections involve procedures to clearly identify and describe soups in a uniform way, so that the information held in datasets can be interrelated (European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), 2010).

 This study assessed the nutrient content of the harmonized soups prepared from fresh and sun dried C    arica Papaya L and Solanum macrocarpon L as consumed by Tiv people of Benue State, Nigeria. This is intended to fill the existing data gap and assist in the evaluation of intake level of various nutrients by consumers. Also, for a more realistic assessment of the ability of local staple foods/dishes to meet the nutritional needs of the Nigerian population, it is important to have nutrient profile data not only of the raw unprocessed food- stuff but also in the processed forms in which they are consumed locally.

 These dishes are consumed frequently among Tiv communities; harmonization of these meals as well as complete knowledge of their nutrient composition will increase their diversification and adequate consumption.

1.2       Statement of the problem

Carica Papaya L and Solanum macrocarpon L are known to be eaten in their fresh forms (MAFF, 1997). They are seasonal in nature most abundantly between the months of December to March for Carica Papaya L, and the month of June to September for Carica Papaya L (Horna and Gruere, 2000). During the abundant season there are a lot of losses due to non preservation processes in the local communities. Among Tiv communities, however these fruits/ vegetables are processed, stored and consumed as soups when they are out of season. When the fruits are dehydrated, there is need to establish whether the nutrients are lost or retained in their dried forms. The nutrient compositions of these fruits/ vegetables when dried are scare in literature.

The non-harmonization of the soup recipes has posed a serious challenge in the determination of their nutrient content and intake levels by consumers. There are different recipe available. The factors used vary among communities and countries (Heli and Kati, 2005).A standardized procedure for the management of soup recipe is desirable for nutritionists and dieticians to achieve comparison. There is urgent need for harmonization of local foods/soups and complete knowledge of the nutrient content of what is consumed. The thrust of this study is to harmonize different soups recipes in many communities in Nigeria and Benue in particular.

1.3   General objective  

The general objective of the study was to determine the nutrient composition, organoleptic attributes of fresh and dried Pawpaw (Carica papaya L) and Garden egg (Solanum macrocarpon L) fruits soups consumed by Tiv communities in Benue State, Nigeria.

1.4 Specific objectives          

Specific objectives of this study were to:

i. collect information on processing, preparation and utilization of fresh and sun dried C.Papaya       L and S.Macrocarpon Lfruits soups;

ii. harmonize the recipes for the preparation of fresh and sun dried C.Papaya L and S.Macrocarpon L  soups;

iii. process and determine the nutrient content of the fruits;

iv. prepare and determine the nutrient potentials of soups from fresh and sun dried C.Papaya L and S.Macrocarpon  L fruits using egusi, beniseed and groundnut as thickeners;

vi. compare the nutrient content of the soups with  RDA and FAO/WHO/UNU reference                  values; and

v. assess the organoleptic attributes of the soups.

 1.5      Significance of the study

The determination of the nutrient content, organoleptic attributes and the harmonised recipes of the soups of fresh and dried fruits of Carica papaya L and Solanum macrocarpon L when published will provide data for nutritionists and dieticians, health workers, food and agricultural industries, as wells as consumers that will enhance the selections of the best methods of processing and preparation.

The results of the study will enable food processors and the hospitality industry adopts processing and preparation methods that will impact minimally on the nutrient composition and sensory attributes of the dried fruits and their soups. The utilization of the fruits in soup preparation will go a long way in diversifying their food potentials and boost the vitamins and fibre intake of consumers. This will impact positively on their nutritional status in particular on health in general. The improvement in the nutrition and health status of the consumers will impact on their productivity which will translate to improved family income, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country and standard of living.

 Dehydration of the fruits will extend the shelf life and improve food security of the nation by improving food availability, accessibility and stability. It will also enhance the transportation and distribution of the fruits. The result will also enable the plant breeders evolve hybrids that will be easy to dehydrate yet giving good quality products with good nutrient retention and sensory properties. The data obtained will also contribute to the compilation of nutrient compositions Tables of Nigerian dishes.

Harmonization of the soup recipes will ensure consistent nutrient content and sensory attributes whenever and wherever they are prepared. This will enable nutritionists and dieticians determine the intake level of any given nutrient per serving of the soups. This will assist nutritionists and dieticians in counseling individuals with nutrition related health conditions on the appropriate quantities to consume in order to maintain optimal health.

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