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Food science
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International: $20
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    This study was aimed at evaluating the effect of drying temperatures on the proximate composition and techno functional properties of C. esculenta (cocoyam) flour. The cocoyam was purchased from a local market, washed to remove dirt, peeled, rinsed, diced, boiled strained and dried at different temperatures(50˚C and 70˚C), milled sieved and packaged in polythene bags. The flour obtained was evaluated for techno functional properties and the results of this research showed that dehydration temperature affects the proximate composition and techno functional properties of C. esculenta (cocoyam) flour.



1.1 Background

esculenta (cocoyam) is an important tropical root crop grown on purpose for its starchy corms or underground stems and leaves are used as vegetable, and wrapping of grated C. esculenta. It grows well in sandy, loamy soil that is not water-logged. It performs better in loamy soil with a good water retention capacity ( Onyeka,2014). It is one of the most staple crops in Pacific Island, Asia and Africa and represents the third most important root crop after yam and cassava (Obomeghewe et al., 1998; Nwanekezeki 2010). C. esculenta is a monocotyledonous plant of 1 to 2 meters in height, the plant consist of central corm stolon and leaves. The root system is fibrous. It is one of the oldest world’s food crop believed to have been first domesticated in Southeast Asia before its eventual spread to other parts of the world. C. esculenta  belongs to the Araceae family and are extensively cultivated in Africa (Olutosin et al, 2021). In African countries cocoyam is mainly cultivated by small scale farmers. C. esculenta grows from a fleshy corm that can be boiled baked or mashed into a meal and used as a staple food or snack ( Talwana et al, 2011).

C, esculenta has been reported to contain digestible starch, proteins of good quality, ascorbic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and high amount of amino acid (Onayemi and Nwige, 1987). It has a nutritional advantage considering its higher protein content and amino acid than any other tropical crop; high starch content with small size granules which results in high digestibility and high soluble dietary fibre content makes taro a good carbohydrate source for extruded special products such as infant winning diets. In spite of its importance C. esculenta as a staple food it is a traditional crop and cultural food stuff used to cook traditional dishes like “Achu”.

esulenta corms are highly perishable due to its high moisture content. Its spoilage could be reduced by processing into flour which can be stored much longer than unprocessed corm (Bolarin et al., 2018). C. esculenta corm is usually consumed after boiling, frying, or roasting and the corms can also be processed into flour. Mechanical damage to the corms during harvesting leads to microbial attack which causes high post-harvest loss of the corms during storage. Despite the hardness of C. esculenta corms compared with other root and tuber crops, they are very susceptible to physical injury during harvesting and post-harvest operations ( Abiodun et al., 2019).

1.2 Problem statement

esculenta is a root crop that is highly valued for its nutritional value and versatility. However C. esculenta has a very short shelf life due to its high moisture content which makes it highly perishable, making it difficult to transport and store for long period of time. Addressing this challenge is to process C. esculenta into flour, which has a longer shelf life and can be easily stored and transported. Also families like meals like “Achu”, but due to their busy schedule they might not meet up with the preparation time for the meal. In addition, “Achu” is a time and energy consuming meal so most families or people prepare it during weekends as the have available time so processing into flour will reduce the cooking time thus creating convenience. Lastly, C. esculenta is a crop that is always available but with price differences with respect to season. Processing into flour will see that the same product is available at all times with no price fluctuations.

1.3 Research objectives.

Main research objective

To identify a suitable drying temperature for C. esculenta (cocoyam).

Specific research objective  

  • To evaluate the effect of drying temperature on the proximate composition and techno functional properties of C. esculenta (cocoyam) flour.
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