Characteristics of baobab pulp-based foods from urban areas of Benin
Keywords:Nectar, Syrups, Pulp, Color, Microflora
Baobab is a multipurpose tree, with nutritional importance to African rural populations, and several products are derived from its fruit. The dehulled fruit delivers a pulp used for food processing. The present study aimed to characterize the baobab pulp derived products encountered in food outlets in Benin. Pulp based foods were inventoried and characterized for their physico-chemical composition, through the determinations of pH, Brix value, dry matter, color and their microflora, through the mesophilic aerobic germs and the enterobacteriaceae. The pH, Brix value, dry matter and color were assessed using potentiometric, refractometric, gravimetric methods, and the chromameter respectively; the microflora was evaluated by colony count method. Surveying the food outlets of the four dominant cities, nectars, syrups and pulp were noticed as the main baobab fruit pulp products commercialized. The pH, Brix value, dry matter of these foods, ranged between 3.3-3.7, 5.7-20.9 °Bx and 6.7-19.4 g/100g for nectars, 3.3-3.5, 58-69 °Bx and 52-58 g/100g for syrups, and 3.3-3.4, 54.5-61.5 °Bx, 84.0-90.8 g/100g for pulps. The color was orange for nectars, red for syrups and from orange to yellow for pulp, based on their hue value. Mesophilic aerobic germs and Enterobacteriaceae count in pulps ranged from 3.4-5.0 log CFU/g and <1-3.2 log CFU/g respectively. The baobab pulp derived products, namely the nectar, the pulp and the syrup, possess a strong variability in their quality, and the understanding of the processing and storage techniques will contribute to develop suitable technologies for each baobab pulp derived product.
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