Physicochemical characterization of pod flour of Moringa oleifera produced at different temperatures

M.A. Khan, A.E. Sulemane, J.J. Paulo
Moringa oleifera is a tropical plant grown for its nutritious leafy greens, flower buds, and mineral-rich green fruit pods. It is a drought tolerant plant and adapts easily to arid climates and to nutrient poor soils. Due to its high nutritive values, all its parts are used for either nutritional or commercial purposes. The objective of this study is to characterize flour obtained from dried pods processed at different temperatures 40, 50, 60°C (in the oven) and at room temperature of ±30°C. Physicochemical properties of Moringa oleifera pods' flour produced at the different temperature were determined and compared. Physicochemical properties of flour of the different parts of the pod (whole pod, mesocarp and seeds) produced at 40°C were also compared. Parameters determined were: moisture content, fiber, protein, fat, vitamin C and water activity of dried flour. Moisture content of fresh pods was 81.26±0.54% with water activity of 0.76±0.01. Vitamin C content was 12.38±3.31 mg 100 g-1. The optimum drying temperature was found to be 40°C and the physicochemical characteristics of the flour at this temperature were: 12.97±1.78 mg 100 g-1 vitamin C, 25.73±0.22% fiber and 20.83±0.36% protein. In general, the moisture content of all type of pod flours was lower than 4% and the water activity was lower than 0.4 suggesting that the whole Moringa oleifera pod flour could be a better nutrient source compared to seed flours due to its high fiber and vitamin C content.
Khan, M.A., Sulemane, A.E. and Paulo, J.J. (2020). Physicochemical characterization of pod flour of Moringa oleifera produced at different temperatures. Acta Hortic. 1292, 121-128
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1292.16
moringa pods, Moringa oleifera seeds, flour, nutritional

Acta Horticulturae