African palmyra palm (Borassus aethiopum) grows widely across Africa. Previous studies indicated its fruit flour has a great potential in food applications. However, there is limited information on the mineral composition, antioxidant properties, anti-nutrient composition and phytochemical composition of the flour. The main objective of this work was to investigate the effect of drying methods on the above mentioned properties of the African palmyra palm flour. Previous works carried out on the flour however indicated that drying had an influence on some quality attributes of the flour. The fresh fruit pulp was obtained, freeze dried, oven dried, solar dried and milled into flour (particle size: 450 microns and below). Phytochemical screening, mineral analysis, anti-nutrient analysis and antioxidant analysis were conducted on the flour obtained. The flour had total phenols (1518.00 - 3896.71 mg GAE/100g), potassium (237.00 - 276.73 mg/100g), magnesium (211.61 - 293.62 mg/100g) and saponin (36.10 – 55.62 g/100g). The phytochemical screening indicated the presence of many phytochemicals including glycosides. Drying had a significant effect on the analysed composition of APP flour.

1.0 Introduction
1.1 Background
Borassus aethiopum is an Arecaceae and is also known in Africa as the mother of trees or as the Savannah’s guard (Ali et al., 2010). Borassus aethiopum goes by other common names such as ron palm, borassus palm, African fan palm, palmyra palm and or deleb palm (Orwa et al., 2009). In Ghana, the Akans refer to it as “Mmaa kube”.

This species is documented as being native to countries like Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, just to mention a few (Orwa et al., 2009). As in other countries, African Palmyra palm grows in the wild in Ghana but more visible within some parts of the Volta, Eastern, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions. In the Abrimasu Forest Reserve in Mampong Forest District of the Ashanti Region of Ghana, where a survey was conducted by Siaw et al. (2014), the population density of the Palmyra is reported to be about 18-61 trees per hectare.

The African fan palm is an attractive palm and every part of the tree can serve any of the socio-cultural, economic and cultural needs of human kind (Siaw et al, 2014). The leaves are useful in the basket and mat industries whereas the trunk is useful in the construction of bridges telegraphic poles due to the toughness and termite resistant nature of the wood (Sarkodie et al., 2015). According to Sambou et al. (1992), upon ripening, the mesocarp is fleshy and can be consumed by grilling, boiling or mixing with sugar or honey. The roots are used in traditional medicine to cure various ailments including asthma.

Over the years, various drying methods, whether conventional or with advanced technology have been engaged in the preservation of many grains, fruits and vegetables to extend their shelf life. The fruits of Borassus aethiopum is noted to having a high moisture and nutrient content. These attributes make the fruit ideal for spoilage microorganisms to thrive leading to post harvest loss during peak seasons. In order to mitigate the effects of this post-harvest loss, drying of the fruits can be employed to remove or lower the moisture content so as to avoid or slow down food spoilage by microorganisms. According to Ogoreyo et al. (2011), the removal of water by heat can either increase the concentration of some nutrients by making them more available or decrease the concentration of others.

1.2 Problem Statement
According to Ali et al. (2010), B. aethiopum bears fruits every 8 months and produces between 50 and 150 fruits (50 to 175 kg), depending on the size of the fruits. Nonetheless, only about 30-40% of the fruit is utilized leaving almost 70% to go as waste. The high level of losses recorded is mainly as a result of the high moisture content (70 – 81%) and underutilization of the fruit. Findings from a study conducted by Abe-Inge et al. (2017) indicated Borassus aethiopum fruit flour has great potential applications in the food industry. However there is currently no study on the mineral content, phytochemical and antioxidant properties of the flour produced from the African Palmyra palm fruit in Ghana.

1.3 Justification
This study will provide information on the mineral content, phytochemical and antioxidant properties of Borassus aethiopum fruit flour. This may help increase and diversify the use of the Borassus aethiopum fruit flour in the food industry, which in turn, will reduce postharvest losses and/or wastage of Borassus aethiopum fruits.

1.4 Objective
This work seeks to evaluate the mineral composition, antioxidant properties, phytochemical and anti-nutrient composition of Borassus aethiopum fruit flour.

1.5 Specific Objectives
– To determine the mineral content (Ca, Fe, P, K, Mg, Na, Zn, Mn) of Borassus aethiopum fruit flour

–   To determine the total phenol content of Borassus aethiopum fruit flour

– To determine the anti-nutrient composition (tannins, oxalate, saponin, alkaloids) of Borassus aethiopum fruit flour

– To determine the DPPH(2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) scavenging activity of Borassus aethiopum fruit flour

– To assess the effect of freeze, hot air oven and solar drying methods on the above mentioned factors of Borassus aethiopum fruit flour.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Topic  |  Size: 77 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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