Comparative Evaluation of the Nutritional Quality, Functional Properties and Amino Acid Profile of Co-Fermented Maize/Cowpea and Sorghum/Cowpea Ogi as Infant Complementary Food
This study involved formulating nutritionally suitable complementary
food mixtures with locally available raw materials. Maize or sorghum was
mixed with cowpea, soaked at 25 °C for 72 h, wet-milled and sieved.
The sediment was sun dried, milled for analyses. Proximate, functional
properties and amino acid were determined in co-fermented maize/cowpea
and sorghum/cowpea. Sorghum/cowpea had higher water absorption capacity,
(235%) than maize/cowpea (103%) sorghum/cowpea and a lower value of oil
absorption capacity (47.9%) than, maize/cowpea of (67.6%). Oil absorption
capacity of (14.7%) in sorghum/cowpea was higher than (9.6%) in maize/cowpea.
The higher foaming capacity of maize/cowpea (40.0%) than that of sorghum/cowpea
of 20.0% might be due to soluble proteins and higher emulsion capacity
of maize/cowpea might make it a better flavour retainer and enhanced mouth-feel.
Values of foaming stability, least gelation capacity and bulk density
(loose and packed) were comparable. Sorghum/cowpea had higher contents
of lysine, histidine, arginine, aspartic acid, threonine, serine, alanine,
glutamic acid, proline, glycine, cystine, valine, isoleucine, leucine,
tyrosine, phenylalanine, total amino acids, total sulphur amino acid,
ratio of total essential amino acids/aromatic amino acids but lower values
of methionine and total essential amino acids. Thus co-fermented sorghum/cowpea
is of better protein quality than maize/cowpea.
to cite this article:
M.A. Oyarekua and E.I. Adeyeye, 2009. Comparative Evaluation of the Nutritional Quality, Functional Properties and Amino Acid Profile of Co-Fermented Maize/Cowpea and Sorghum/Cowpea Ogi as Infant Complementary Food. Asian Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1: 31-39.
Cereals and cowpea are widely used food crops in the developing countries and
their importance is increasing as complementary foods for infants. Fermented
cereal has been popularly used as complementary infant food in Nigeria, where
it is referred to as ogi. Ogi is a smooth, creamy, free-flowing
thin porridge obtained from wet-milled, fermented maize, sorghum or millet.
The preparation involves dilution of the fermented product with water and boiling
with constant stirring to desired consistency (Johansson
et al., 1995). Complementary fermented gruel is consumed by over
90% of children over 6 months of age in Nigeria. Starch and protein are reported
to be the major components affecting function properties of food material. Fleming
et al. (1974) reported that water absorption capacity is attributed
to protein content of food material. According to Sefa-Dedeh
and Afaokwa (2001), addition of cowpea improved the water absorption potential
of fermented maize dough and that protein is responsible for the bulk of water
uptake and to a lesser extent the starch and cellulose at room temperature.
According to Chauvan and Kadan (1989), processes like
fermentation lead to modification in functional properties and has been used
to enhance desirable properties for food formulations. Fermentation tends to
influence the functional properties of foods. Protein and carbohydrates undergo
significant hydrolytic changes during fermentation. Natural fermentation tend
to influence the functional properties and might lead to desirable or undesirable
modification of functional properties. Ahmed et al.
(1988) reported that fermentation increase protein which is reflected in
better water absorption capacity, water retention capacity and fat absorption
capacity. Fermentation is also reported to improve foaming properties (higher
foaming capacity corresponds to poor foaming characteristics) but not emulsion
Bulk density of meal is also influenced by number and packing density of protein
bodies and starch granules. High protein content and protein-lipid interactions
were said to contribute to increase in fat absorption capacity of food. Starch
and soluble proteins and other seed components influence foaming capacity and
stability and emulsifying properties. Various studies have been done on supplementation
of Nigerian ogi with cowpea. Akpapunam and Sefa-Dedeh
(1995), Sefa-Dedeh and Afaokwa (2001) and Soulski
and Summer (1987) reported that utilization of cowpea products depends on
its functional properties and that cowpea products are superior to soybean in
terms of water absorption capacity especially the protein isolates however,
there is scanty information on co-fermentation of maize, sorghum and cowpea
as complementary infant food. This study is reporting the comparative effect
of co-fermentation on the functional properties of co-fermented maize/cowpea
and millet/cowpea mixtures and their amino acid profiles.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Sample of fermented sorghum/cowpea ogi and co-fermented maize/cowpea
This was determined according to AOAC
About 1.3 mL of fermented or non-fermented slurry was centrifuged
at 5000 g min-1 for 10 min, 0.2 mL 15 N NaOH was added to the
supernatant in each tube, vortexed and stored in the freezer at -20°C
for further use.
The tubes were later thawed and 1 mL of each tube was diluted with 1
mL Dinitro-Salicylic Solution (DNS). Each mixture was agitated for 5 minutes
in water bath at 100°C. The tubes were then rapidly cooled in ice.
They were then rapidly cooled in ice. They were later vortexed and read
at 575 nm.
Bolk density of loose and packed flour were determined according to the method
of Wang and Kinsella (1976).
Water Absorption Capacity (WAC)
This was determined according to the method of Soluski (1962).
Fat Absorption Capacity
This was determined according to the method of Soulski (1962).
Was determined according to the method of Sathe et al.
This was determined according to the method of Beuchat et
Least Gelation Capacity
This was determined according to the method of Coffman and
Determination of Amino Acids Profile
The amino acid profile in the samples was determined using methods described
by Speckman et al. (1958). The samples was dried
to constant weight, defatted, hydrolyzed, evaporated in a rotary evaporator
and located into the Technicon Sequential Amino Acid Analyzer (TSM).
Defatting of Samples
A known weight of the samples were dried into extraction thimble
and the fat was extracted with chloroform/ methanol (2:1 mixture) using
Soxhlet extraction apparatus as described by AOAC (1990). The extraction
lasted for about 15 h.
Hydrolysis of Samples
A known weight of the defatted sample was weighed into glass ampoule.
A 7 mL of 6 N HCl was added and oxygen was expelled. The glass ampoule
was then sealed with Bunsen burner flame and put in an oven preset at
105±5°C for 22 h. The ampoule was allowed to cool before broken
opened at the tip and the content was filtered. The filtrate was then
evaporated to dryness at 40°C under vacuum in a rotary evaporator.
The residue was dissolved with 5 mL of acetate buffer (pH 2.0) and stored
in plastic specimen bottles which were kept in the freezer.
Loading of the Hydrolysate into TSM Analyzer
About 5 to 10 μL was dispensed into the cartridge of the analyzer
for 76 min. Amino acid values was calculated using the chromatogram peaks;
while the net weight of each peak produced by the chart record TSM was
measured while the half-height of the peak was accurately measured and
recorded. Approximate area of each peak was then obtained by multiplying
the height with the width at half-height.
The Norleucine Equivalent (NE) for each amino acid in the standard mixture
was calculated using the formula:
Protein Efficiency-Ratio (PER) is calculated as: PER= -0.468+0.454(leucine)-0.105
In Table 1, the dry matter contents were higher
in unfermented samples than in co-fermented samples. The pH of the fermenting
medium decreased over 72 h; however the decrease was more significant
in sorghum/cowpea. The crude protein values were comparable in both co-fermented and unfermented samples. The ash, crude fibre and lipid values were higher
in unfermented samples than in co-fermented samples but the crude fibre
values of the co-fermented samples were comparable. However, the value
of co-fermented sorghum/cowpea was significantly (p < 0.05) higher (2.9
g/100 g), than that of co-fermented maize/cowpea with a value of 1.3 g/100
g. Co-fermented maize/cowpea, 0.23 g/100 g and sorghum/cowpea 0.60 g/100
||The chemical proximate composition of co-fermented sorghum/cowpea,
co-fermented millet/cowpea ogi and unfermented samples
|Each value is mean of triplicate values. values with
the same superscript in each column are not significantly different
(p > 0.05). TTA = Total titrable acidity
In Table 2 the water absorption capacity value was higher
(p < 0.05) in sorghum/cowpea ogi (235%) than maize/cowpea ogi
(103.5%). Also, the oil absorption capacity value was lower in sorghum/cowpea
with a value of 47.9 ogi than maize/cowpea ogi with a value
of 67.6%; the oil absorption stability was also higher in sorghum/cowpea
ogi (14.7%) than maize/cowpea with a value of 9.6%.The foaming
capacity was higher (p < 0.05) in sorghum/cowpea ogi with a value
of 40% than maize/cowpea ogi with a value of 20%; while the foaming
stability values were comparable in maize/cowpea (1.3%) with sorghum/cowpea
ogi (1.3%). The value of emulsification capacity was higher (p < 0.05)
in maize/cowpea ogi with a value of 15% than sorghum/cowpea ogi
with a value of 5%.The least gelation capacity values were comparable
in both samples with a value of 5.0% each. The values for bulk density
(loose flour) were comparable for sorghum/cowpea ogi and maize/cowpea
ogi while the bulk density values for packed flours was higher
in sorghum/cowpea than maize/cowpea ogi.
Table 3 shows the amino acids composition of co-fermented
maize/cowpea and sorghum/cowpea. Sorghum/cowpea had higher values of lysine
(24.3), Aspartic acid (68.8) and glutamic acid (200), glycine (31.88), alanine (81.8), leucine (129.3), isoleucine (38.2),
cystine (21.3) phenylalanine (51.5), proline (8.89), tyrosine (4.03) histidine
(22.8),threonine (32.9), serine (45.2) and valine (52.9) than in maize/cowpea
with methionine (19), aspartic acid (5.70), glutamic acid (171.0), glycine
(25) alanine 70.9) leucine (101.1) phenyl alanine (55), valine (52.9)
and proline (Glutamic acid was the most abundant in sorghum/cowpea and
maize/cowpea ogi (66.9) followed by proline and aspartic acid.
The values of cystine and histidine were comparable in both products.
Total Amino Acids (TAA) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in sorghum/cowpea
with 993 than maize/cowpea ogi with 879.Ratio of total essential
amino acids to total amino acids (TEAA/TAA) was higher in sorghum/cowpea
with 0.43 than maize/cowpea ogi with 0.46. Total Sulphur Amino
Acids (TSA). Amino Acid Scores (AAS) were comparable in both products
but higher in maize/cowpea in the absence of tryptophan. Total aromatic
amino acids values were higher in sorghum/cowpea with 9.2 than maize/cowpea.
||The values of functional properties of sorghum/cowpea ogi
and co-fermented maize/cowpea ogi
|WAC: Water absorption capacity, OAC: Oil absorption
capacity, OAS: Oil absorption stability, FC: Foaming capacity,FS:
Foaming stability, EC: Emulsion capacity, LGC: Low gelation capacity
||Amino acid content (mg g-1) of co-fermented Maize/cowpea
and Sorghum/cowpea ogi
|TAA: Total amino acids, TEAA: Total essential amino
acids, TSAA: Total sulphur amino acids, ArAA: Aromatic amino acids.
P-PER: - 0.468+0.454 (leucine) -0.105 (tyrosine)
High value of water absorption capacity is desirable for the improvement of
mouth feel and viscosity reduction in food product. In this study, sorghum/cowpea
ogi had a higher value (235%) than maize/cowpea ogi (103%); The
WAC value of sorghum/cowpea ogi was higher than 130% reported for soy pea flour
and lupin seed flour (Lin et al., 1974). This
difference might be due to several factors like changes in quality and quantity
of starch during fermentation process and starch- protein matrix network. There
might also be likely exposure of charges which can attract the water molecules
in the fermenting medium. The lower value of maize/cowpea ogi might be
due to protein-protein interaction. The lower value of WAC in maize/cowpea is
however is in agreement with the finding with of Ahmed et
al. (1988) that reported that fermentation increase protein which was
reflected in better WAC. Water absorption capacity of about 149.1-471.5% are
considered critical in viscous foods and high viscous food is undesirable for
infant complementary foods; thus the low water absorption capacity of co-fermented
maize/cowpea might serve as a desirable product for complementary food; considering
also that during boiling since the co-fermented mixture must be boiled before
consumption, this might increase gelatinization and swelling thereby increasing
water absorption potential. The oil emulsification capacity was higher in maize/cowpea
ogi (15%) than that of sorghum/cowpea (5%) but the value of maize/cowpea
was significantly higher than the reported value of 7-11% for wheat flour and
18% for soya flour (Lin et al., 1974). High value
of oil emulsification capacity acts as flavour retainer and enhances the mouth
feel and taste of food. Co-fermentation brings about variation in pH which might
have contributed to the value in both products. The higher values of water absorption
capacity and oil absorption capacity in sorghum/cowpea might be due to the thickness
of interfacial bi- layer model of protein diffusion and re-orientation to water
interface. The thickness of the interface also depends on protein-to-protein
interaction. This justified why the higher value of crude protein in sorghum/cowpea
gave a higher value of oil absorption capacity; this was in agreement with the
report of Sefa-Dedeh and Afaokwa (2001).
The reduced value of oil absorption stability in maize/cowpea ogi
might be due to collapse of proteins thereby increasing contact between
protein molecules leading to coalescence and thus reducing stability.
Low values of foaming capacity are indicative of soluble proteins and indicative
of low gas/volume ratio. The value in maize/cowpea ogi was higher than
sorghum/cowpea ogi. However, the value of maize/cowpea ogi (40%)
in this study is comparable to the values reported for full fat cowpea flour
(40%) (Abbey and Ibeh, 1988). The foaming stability values
were favourably comparable in both products. The crude protein values in co-fermented
sorghum/cowpea were comparable in both products (13.9 g/100 g) in sorghum/cowpea
and maize/cowpea ogi (13 g/100 g). Least gelation capacity values of
maize/cowpea and sorghum/cowpea ogi were low and comparable. High value
of least gelation capacity means less thickening capacity of food product. Thus
the low values in co-fermented mixtures might be appropriate for infant complementary
The values of packed bulk density were comparable (0.50-0.55 cm3)
were comparable in both samples. The values of bulk density of loose and
packed flour of sorghum/cowpea ogi were comparable to that of maize/cowpea
ogi. Thus it could be deduced that co-fermentation of maize or
sorghum with cowpea might not increase the bulkiness of maize or sorghum
ogi; high value of bulkiness is undesirable for infant complementary
food due to the physiology of the alimentary canal and stomach capacity
of the infant.
Higher values of dry matter might depend on the hydrophobic and hydrophillic
nature of the cereals or cowpea.; the higher the dry matter, the higher the
water retention capacity. Unfermented cereals/cowpea had higher dry matter than
co-fermented cereal/cowpea ogi this might be due to the fact that unfermented
grains were not soaked in water. This study showed that co-fermentation reduced
crude protein of maize/cowpea and sorghum/cowpea ogi this finding is
in agreement with Aliya and Geervani (1981) reported
a reduction of the total crude protein content of 4-6% in fermented millet porridge.
Akpapunam and SefahDedeh (1995) reported that there was
no change in crude protein in fermented maize incorporated with cowpea in ratio
60:40 maize:Cowpea when compared with unfermented maize and cowpea mixtures.
The values of crude protein in both co-fermented samples in this study were
significantly (p > 0.05) higher than estimated protein need (3.6 g day-1)
required from complementary food by level of usual breast milk intake for 6-23
month old infants; however the value in both samples were comparable to required
protein recommended intake during the first two years of life (WHO/NUT,
1998). The low value of crude fibre of the two co-fermented samples in this
work is desirable because the physiology of infants alimentary canal does not
favour bulky foods. The reduction of crude fiber might also be due to enzymatic
degradation of the fibrous material during fermentation (Ikenebomeh
et al., 1986). According to the report of Akpapunam
and Achinewu (1985), there was decrease in lipid content of pearl millet/cowpea
blend of 60:40 ratios in fermentation process compared with raw blends. In this
study, the lipid content of unfermented cereal/cowpea mixture was significantly
higher (p < 0.05) than their unfermented samples, while co-fermented sorghum/cowpea
had a significantly higher value than co-fermented maize/cowpea.. The germ and
the aleurone layers of millet and sorghum contribute lipid while the germ contribute
about 80% of total fat. The presence of lipid in cereal starches is a distinguishing
feature of the starches; in this study co-fermentation appeared to reduce the
lipid content this is in agreement with the finding of Beuchat
and Worthington (1974).
Starch is the major storage form of carbohydrate in sorghum and maize. The digestibility
of starch depends on hydrolysis of pancreatic enzymes. In this study, maize/cowpea
had slightly lower reducing sugar content than sorghum/cowpea ogi (Table
1). Co-fermentation in this study, sharply reduced the reducing sugars in
both samples, this is in agreement with Sripriya and Chandra
(1997). The reduction might be due to hydrolysis of polysaccharides by fermenting
microbes which possess both alpha and beta amylase; because carbohydrates, starch
and soluble sugars (reducing sugars) are the principal substrates for fermenting
lactics therefore significant decrease in soluble sugars is expected. The observation
in this present work is however contrary to the finding of Chauvan
(1988), who reported increase in the reducing sugar content during natural
fermentation of sorghum for four days but reported decrease in reducing sugar
when fermentation composition continued for seven days.
The results showed that glutamic acid and leucine were the most abundant in
both products. High value of glutamic acid might affect the flavour of the products
and may cause ulcer in man. The high acids are products of microbial fermentation.
The values of leucine of 129.3 mg g-1 cp in sorghum/cowpea and 101.1
mg g-1 CP in maize/cowpea were higher than the recommended dietary
allowance (RDA) value of 93 mg g-1 cp for infant complementary food.
There is amino acid antagonism within sorghum grain; leucine might depress isoleucine
which with other factors is a contributor to pellargra disease resulting from
consumption of sorghum. Isoleucine value was 35.9 mg g-1 cp in maize/cowpea
and 38.2 mg g-1 cp in sorghum/cowpea both values were lower than
RDA value of 46 mg g-1 cp. Arginine which is an essential amino acid
for child`s growth (Robinson, 1987) content was slightly
higher in sorghum/cowpea 42.3 mg g-1 cp than maize/cowpea 36.3 mg
g-1 cp. Arginine is an essential amino acid needed for child growth
(Robinson, 1987). The lysine content of maize/cowpea ogi
was slightly lower 22.8 than 42.3 mg g-1 cp of sorghum/cowpea ogi.
However both values were lower than 63 mg g-1 of reference egg protein
and RDA value (66 mg) for infant complementary food.
Methionine and cystine values were comparable in maize/cowpea 19.7 and 20.9
mg g-1 cp in sorghum/cowpea ogi. Methionine and cystine are
considered the limiting amino acids in legumes. Methionine plus cystine values
in both co-fermented mixtures were comparable with RDA values of 42 mg g-1
cp required for infant complementary foods. Methionine is needed for the synthesis
of choline; which Choline forms lecithin when diet is low in protein resulting
in Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM). Sufficient choline may be formed in the
presence of adequate methionine. Thus consumption of maize/cowpea or sorghum/cowpea
ogi may solve methionine deficiency and also meet the RDA value. Cystine
has positive effect on zinc ions and can act for part requirement of methionine,
however, FAO/WHO/UNU(1985) does not give the proportion
of Total Sulphur Amino Acid (TSAA) which can be met by cystine in man.
The histidine value was higher in sorghum/cowpea ogi than of maoze/cowpea
ogi. Histidine is essential for infant growth when present in small quantities
and when allergens enter the tissue histidine is liberated in large quantities
and it is responsible for nettle rash (Adeyeye and Faleye,
2004). However the value of histidine in sorghum/cowpea was comparable to
RDA while maize/cowpea ogi was lower to RDA value.
In the total amino acids maize/cowpea had a lower value of 879 mg g-1
cp than sorghum/cowpea of 993. Both values were however higher than that of
566 mg g-1 cp of egg reference protein reported by Paul
et al. (1980) and 453 mg g-1 cp reported by Lusas
(1979) for peanut meal. Both products appeared promising in satisfying the
total amino acid requirements of infants. The Total Sulphur Amino Acids (TSAA)
of sorghum/cowpea (42.2) and (39.5) for maize/cowpea; these values were lower
than 58 mg g-1 cp recommended for infants (FAO/WHO/UNU,
1985). The aromatic amino acid (ArAA) of maize/cowpea 72.3 mg g-1
cp and 92.0 mg g-1 cp of sorghum/cowpea fell within the range suggested
for ideal infant protein (68-118 mg g-1 cp) by FAO/WHO/UNU
The percent ratio of essential amino acid to the total amino acid in maize/cowpea
and sorghum/cowpea were well above 26 and 11% recommended by FAO/WHO/UNU
(1985) for ideal protein food for infants and adults, respectively. The
values obtained for sorghum/cowpea and maize/cowpea were also comparable to
that of egg (50%) (FAO/WHO/UNU, 1990).The values obtained
for maize/cowpea also compared favourably with 43.6% reported for pigeon pea
flour by Oshodi et al. (1993) and 43.8-44.4% reported
by Chauvan et al. (2001) for beach pea protein
isolate. The P-PER (Protein efficiency ratio) value of maize/cowpea was 3.9
g/100 g and sorghum/cowpea was 7.2 g/100 g both values were higher than literature
values of (1.21) cowpea and (1.82) pigeon pea as reported by Salunkhe
and Kadam (1989). The P-PER values were also higher than that of reference
The higher protein quality in terms of amino acids composition of
co-fermented sorghum/cowpea might have contributed to its higher WAC and
OAC however, maize/cowpea had higher FC which was indicative of soluble
proteins; in essence maize/cowpea might be more acceptable as complementary
food. Also the lower WAC in maize/cowpea might make it to be more viscous,
high viscous food is unacceptable as complementary food and its higher
OEC would also make the maize/cowpea to be a good flavour retainer. However,
both products had comparable low GC; the lower the value, the better,
thus making both to have less thickening ability and to be good emulsifier.
These attributes might make both products to be appropriate as complementary
foods. The high value of glutamic and aspartic acid may affect the flavour.
The values of leucine in both samples were higher than RDA levels while
isoleucine and lysine were also lower than RDA. Although, However, histidine
is needed for infants growth in small amounts. The value of histidine
was lower in maize/cowpea than RDA level. The TAA values in both samples
were higher in both samples than egg reference protein with sorghum/cowpea
having higher value. Both products appeared promising in satisfying TAA
requirements of infants and also ArAA infants` requirement. Crude protein
values were comparable in both samples and meets the requirement for the
first two years of life and higher than required level from complementary
We are grateful to the International Centre for Research and Development
(IRD) Tropical Nutrition Department, Montpellier, France for granting
author M.A. Oyarekua a study fellowship. We are also grateful to Dr. Ojobe
of University of Jos, Nigeria.
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