Effect of Drying Methods on Proximate Composition and Physico-chemical Properties of Cocoyam Flour
Three drying methods (sun-, cabinet and oven-drying) were investigated on some quality attributes of flour produced from cocoyam, Colocasia esculenta Schott (taro). The proximate and physico-chemical compositions were determined to investigate the nutritional value and the characteristic properties of the cocoyam flour. It was observed that all parameters examined were affected by the drying methods as they varied in composition with the three differently processed flour samples (sun, cabinet and oven-dried) except for carbohydrate that had no significant difference with the drying methods. The pasting property showed that all the three flour samples (sun, cabinet and oven dried methods) had no significant difference (p≤0.05) in their pasting temperature while that of sun-dried cocoyam flour (sample A) had the least breakdown thereby retaining a good starch structure. The results of the experiment showed that the oven-dried cocoyam flour retained the highest values in protein (5.17%), ash (2.87%), crude fiber (2.97%) and carbohydrate (79.00%) than the sun and cabinet dried samples. The physico-chemical and pasting properties of sun dried sample is more acceptable as it has greater values in all its physico-chemical parameters tested for except for foam stability and least gelation concentration which have lower values than that of other samples (cabinet and oven dried), also sun dried flour had the least breakdown thereby retaining the best starch structure.