Modification of the textural characteristics, oil absorption, and protein content of fried cowpea paste (akara) during production
Plahar, Minerva Adinorkie
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To improve the textural quality of akara (fried cowpea paste), two saponins, Yucca and Quillaja, were incorporated into cowpea paste. Addition of the saponins increased the foaming capacity of the paste and resulted in a desirably soft, spongy-textured product compared to the control as well as increased oil absorption. Addition of soy flour and curdlan to the cowpea flour resulted in a decrease in the fat content of akara. The paste moisture content of akara containing both soy flour (20%) and curdlan (1%) was modified to obtain product characteristics comparable to the control (100% cowpea flour). Increasing the moisture content of the paste resulted in an increase in its foaming capacity, and optimum results were obtained for paste with 63% moisture content. Firmness of the product was similar to the control and the fat content was lower (17%) compared to the control (26%).