Carica papaya (Pawpaw), a tropical plant with inexpensive fruit is underutilized and highly consumed in the ripe form in Nigeria. The fruit is reportedly high in niacin, vitamin C and calcium, with therapeutic properties. The matured unripe fruit is sliced, dried and cooked into soups by Tiv people of Benue State, Nigeria. The study was carried out to determine the nutrient, antinutrient and sensory attributes of three local soups prepared from unripe Pawpaw fruit as consumed by Tiv people. Fresh matured unripe Pawpaw fruit was obtained from Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan research farm, washed, peeled, sliced into chips and sun-dried. Sun-dried chips were rehydrated and prepared into three (Poucho, Tomato and Egusi) soups. Fresh Pawpaw fruit (PF), dry pawpaw chips (PC), Poucho (PS) and Egusi (ES) soups, and tomato stew (TS) were analysed for proximate, mineral, vitamin and anti-nutrient composition using standard methods of AOAC. Sensory attributes were evaluated using 30 panelists on nine-point hedonic scale. Dry PC and soups contained 12.0-55.2g moisture, 3.84-8.74g crude protein, 0.3-7.1g crude fat, and 82.1-24.6g carbohydrates /100g sample. Tomato stew was highest in carbohydrate, PS highest in crude fat, ES in protein and energy. The soups were rich in both macro and microminerals, with ES having highest values. The three soups were rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and low in antinutrients. The soups were acceptable to the panelists, and are hence, recommended for improving dietary diversity, antioxidant and micronutrient intake of consumers.
Unripe Pawpaw Fruit, Nutrient Content, Antinutrients, Sun-Drying, Pawpaw Soups
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