Influence of pH and sodium chloride on selected functional and physical properties of African breadfruit (Treculia africana Decne) kernel flour

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African breadfruit seeds were cleaned, parboiled (98 °C) for 15 min, drained and dehulled. The kernels were sun-dried, then milled and sieved into flour. Nitrogen solubility (NS), water absorption capacity (WAC), emulsion activity (EA), viscosity, foaming and emulsifying properties of the flour were determined as functions of pH and NaCl concentration. The NS was pH dependent with a minimum at pH 4 and maximum at pH 10. The flour also exhibited minimum and maximum foam capacity at pH 4 and 10, respectively. The minimum emulsion activity was at pH 4, a value which increased from 7–16% at pH 12. The addition of NaCl at concentrations of 0.2 to 0.4 M improved WAC, NS, foaming and emulsion properties of the flour. Sodium chloride enhanced NS of the flour at pH 4–6 and EA at pH 2–8. The EA at pH 2, 10 and 12 correlated negatively (r = –0.30) with NaCl concentration levels; however, the correlation was not significant (p> 0.05). The flour dispersions had lower viscosities at acid pH and in the presence of NaCl than at neutral and alkaline pH values. Results indicated the flour could be used in food product supplementation.

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