PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECT OF MOISTURE CONTENT ON THE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF BLACK BEAN (PHASEOLUS VULGARIS)
Legumes are the plants of the family Fabaceace or Leguminosae which serve as food for a large number of people of tropical origin and constitute a very important source of dietary protein in many West African countries, including Nigeria (Siegel and Fawcett, 1976; Akinjayeju and Francis, 2008). The widespread occurrence of malnutrition traced to low level of protein in the diets of those in many developing countries of the world had refocused on the importance of legumes as excellent but cheap source of legumes, most especially when consumed with cereal grains to which they act as extenders of proteins.
In addition, it has been previously reported (Venn and Mann, 2004) that epidemiological studies had strongly supported the suggestion that high intakes of whole grain foods, including legumes, protect against the development of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Common food legumes in Nigeria include cowpea, soybean, African locust bean and some lesser known ones including black beans (Oguntunde, 1987).
Black bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is one of the least exploited legumes in Nigeria despite its high level of protein and common minerals such as phosphorus and iron (Enwere, 1998). This low consumption of black bean has been attributed partly to its high content of anti-nutritional factors and hard-to-cook phenomenon which requires long time of cooking to make it safe and soft enough for consumption (Tabey-Shebata, 1992).
Black beans, like most common legumes, are consumed in different forms and used for the preparation of various diets in Nigeria. One very form of consumption of legumes is a steamed paste gel of the legume (“Moinmoin”), which is prepared from the aqueous suspension of the milled legume after dehulling, either manually or mechanically (McWatters, 1983; Ehiwe and Reichert, 1987).
Little is known about the basic physical characteristics of blackbean seed. Such basic information is important not only to engineers but also to food scientists, processors, plant breeders and other scientists who may find new uses for them (Mohsenin, 1970). The design of handling and processing machinery of grains and seeds relies a great deal on the physical characteristics of grains.
The physical characteristics are also affected by parameters such as the drying time and moisture content (Wang et al., 2007). These physical properties are important in the design of storage and processing equipment. Physical properties are important factors in solving problems associated with the design of machines or analysis of the behaviour of the product during agricultural processes such as planting, harvesting, handling, threshing, sorting and drying (Varnamkhasti, et al., 2009).
For proper utilization and acceptability of legume splits and flours, it is desirable to study the functional properties, physical and cooking properties, since they play important role in the physical behaviour of food or its ingredient during preparation and processing (Adebowale and Lawal, 2004).
1.1 Objective of the study
This study was aimed at examining the effect of moisture content on the physical properties of black bean (phaseolus vulgaris).