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Flour is fine powder made from cereals or other starch based produce. It is most commonly made from wheat (Adeleke and Odedeji, 2010). Flour is the key ingredient in bread production which constitutes a staple in the diet of many countries. Therefore, the availability of adequate supply of flour has often been a major economic and political issue. Flour can also be made from legumes and nuts, root and tubers such as yam, cassava, sweet potato etc.

Flour produced from non wheat sources is otherwise known as composite flour (Adeleke and Odedeji, 2010). Flours produced from only either cereal, legumes or tubers will have a nutritional value inferior to those produced from a combination of cereals, legumes or tubers. For example, composite flour produced from cereals and legumes have the advantage of improving overall nutrition (FAO, 1995) while composite flours produced from legumes and tubers will have high protein content and will also have high calorific value (Chinma, et al; 2007).

In selecting the components to be used in composite flour blends, the materials should preferably be readily available, culturally acceptable and provide increased nutritional potential (Akobundu, et al; 1998). Basically, wheat flour which is the flour of choice for producing many of these snacks is unavailable or uneconomical in many regions of the world including Nigeria (Okpala and Okoli, 2011).

Therefore, to produce baked foods regions with limited supplies of wheat flours most rely on imports or exclude wheat products from the diet (Holt, et al; 1992). Plantain (Musa paradisiaca) is a staple food in the tropical regions of the world, treated in the same way as potato and yam with a similar texture and neutral flavour when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying (Aderounmu, 2006).

Plantain is a staple triploid hybrid between the species Musa acumunate and Musa balbisiana. The Musa species is likely a native to India and Southern Asia. Plantain contains carbohydrates (32%), protein (1%), fat (0.02%), water (60%) and some vitamins and mineral elements. The food is extremely low in fat and protein, high in fibre and starch. It is a good source of vitamin A, B6 and C which helps maintain vision, good skin and builds immunity against diseases.

It is also rich in potassium, magnesium and phosphate when cooked green (Ogazi et al., 1996). FAO (2009) has reported that more than 2.5 million metric tons of plantains are produced in Nigeria annually, but about 40 to 60% post-harvest losses had been reported which is attributed to lack of storage facilities and inadequate technologies for food processing. Traditionally, unripe plantain can be processed into flour (Ukhum and Ukpebor, 1991).

The flour is mixed with boiling water to make a stretchable paste (known as Amala) which is eaten with various soups. However, plantain is increasingly finding a gradual application in weaning food formulation and composite flour preparations (Ogazi et al., 1996; Otegbayo et al., 2002; Olaoye et al., 2006; Mepba et al., 2007). Plantain flour is potential local flour that could be blended with wheat for bread making. Its high potassium level is considered beneficial for neural complaints.

According to Ariya (1998) the carbohydrates in plantain are easily absorbed by the human gut than carbohydrate from other starchy sources, thus making it more needful for diabetic-prone individuals. Plantain has very short shelf life therefore processing into flour improve the shelf life thereby reducing post harvest losses. Wheat (Triticum spp) is mill raw material, which is today together with rice the most important food raw material. Wheat’s chemical content and economic production have made it the main resource for multi phase production of different food, chemical and pharmaceutical products.

Besides that, the wheat is also used for production of alcoholic and other drinks, as well as cattle food production. However, the wheat is mostly used for flour production; thus, the biggest problem of missing food is solved by using it. Wheat, as well as other corns presents the cheapest source of energy and calories (Bešlagić et al., 1999). The nutritional value of wheat is extremely important as it takes an important place among the few crop species being extensively grown as staple food sources.

The importance of wheat is mainly due to the fact that its seed can be ground into flour, semolina, etc., which form the basic ingredients of bread and other bakery products, as well as pastas, and thus it presents the main source of nutrients to the most of the world population (Zuzana et al, 2010). Wheat flour, the main raw material for bread making, contains gluten which gives bread its unique texture.

However, wheat cannot be adequately grown in the country due to climatic reason; hence the country depends largely on wheat importation. Several attempts have been made to bake bread from composite flours of cassava, millet, sorghum, maize, African breadfruit etc. (Olatunji and Akinrele, 1978). There is need to intensify this effort to partly or completely replace wheat with local crops considering the global economic melt-down that has made importation very difficult for developing nations.

Since wheat flour is not readily available in every region, like that of plantain flour, there is every need for the comparative study of these flours; so as to give more nutritive information of these flours to the consumers. Little or no research has been made on the comparative study of plantain flour with wheat flour. This study therefore focuses on this.



The Objectives of this Study Are:

  1. To produce flour from five different varieties of plantain using sun drying method.
  2. To determine the pysico-chemical properties of these plantain flours and wheat flour
  3. To determine the sensory properties of these plantain and wheat flour meals



  1. Ernest Jans January 16, 2018

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