Most pesticides used in cowpea have some effects on the utilization of the grains. There is a need for a functional biopesticide that will have no adverse effect on cowpea utilisation or application in food system. This study was carried out to evaluate the functional properties of cowpea grains preserved with mixtures of neem and moringa oils. Graded mixtures and concentrations of neem and moringa seed oils (ratio 1:2/2.5µl/g, 1:2/5.0µl/g, 1.3/2.5µl/g, and 1:3/5.0µl/g) were investigated. Cowpea grains were treated with the seed oils in ratio 1:2 and 1:3 at concentrations of 2.5 and 5.0 µl/g, and stored for a period of 270 days. The functional properties (bulk density, foaming property and stability, emulsification capacity, oil and water absorption capacity, viscosity and least gelation concentration) of the differently treated grains were determined every 90 days. The data obtained was subjected to analysis of variance using SAS version 9.2 and means that were significantly different were compared using Least Significant Difference at P<0.05. The results showed that there were no significant (P<0.05) differences between the functional properties of the cowpea flours from grains treated with ratio 1:3/2.5µl/g and 1:3/5.0µl/g but significant differences were observed in the bulk density, emulsification capacity, foaming capacity, least gelation capacity, water absorption capacity and viscosity of the flours from cowpea grains treated with ratio 1:2/5.0µl/g and the control . There were Ssignificant (P<0.05) reduction in the bulk density, emulsification capacity, foam capacity, oil absorption capacity, viscosity and water absorption capacity of the treated cowpea flour as storage progressed except for the gelatinization temperature that was the same throughout the period.. Preservation of cowpea grains with ratio 1:3/5.0µl/g neem-moringa seed oil retained best functional properties of the treated cowpea grains flour thus showing that it has potential to be applied for cowpea preservation without compromising the desired functional properties.
Cowpea, functional properties, preservation, cowpea flour, neem and moringa oils
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