This study investigated the possible use of shea butter for fried plantain chips production as well as comparative assessment of their quality characteristics. Mature green plantain was peeled and chipped followed by deep-frying using three different vegetable oils (shea butter, soybean oil and palm oil) individually. The respective fried plantain chips were then evaluated for their quality attributes. The fat content of fried plantain chips from shea butter (FPC-Shea) was 19.79% while that from FPC-Soy (plantain chips from soybean oil) and FPC-Palm (plantain chips from palm oil) were 18.47 and 20.04%, respectively. The protein, ash, crude fibre and carbohydrate contents of FPC-Shea were 5.22, 2.62, 3.54 and 69.33%, respectively while those of FPC-Soy and FPC-Palm ranged from 3.84 – 4.77, 2.36 – 2.54, 3.41 – 3.64 and 69.01 – 71.92%, respectively. The browning index (BI), oiliness index and in vitro starch digestibility of FPC-Shea were 103.71, 28.14 cm2 and 42.38 mg/g, respectively while those of FPC-Soy and FPC-Palm ranged from 108.34 – 111.94, 24.45 – 36.31 cm2, and 34.54 – 37.27 mg/g, respectively. The organoleptic assessment revealed that FPC-Shea was rated the highest in terms of colour and crispness while FPC-Soy was rated the highest in terms of taste, aroma, hand greasiness and overall acceptability. The FPC-Palm was rated the lowest in terms of all sensory parameters. The overall acceptability of FPC-Shea was lower than that of FPC-Soy but still processed high potentiality. The storability study revealed that the fried plantain chips from all vegetable oil sources could not last beyond seven days due to the level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) exceeding a threshold level of 1.1 mg MDA/kg. The type of packaging material used (transparent polyethylene material) might have played a critical role in this relatively short storage life of the fried plantain chips.
Plantain Chips, Shea Butter, Soybean Oil, Palm Oil, Frying
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