Indigenous foods have its origin in a particular region of which it is culturally accepted. They are consumed traditionally as opposed to exotic foods which have been introduced from other regions of the world. This study identified and evaluated the proximate, vitamin, mineral, phytochemical, anti-nutrients, and amino acid profile of the indigenous foods in Imo state. Samples of indigenous foods; Owerri soup, Oha-Okazi soup, ugba soup, Ugba and Ona and ona sauce) were dried in a cabinet dryer at 70ºC to a constant weight and pulverized to powder. The ground powder was evaluated for proximate, vitamin, mineral, phytochemical, anti-nutrient, and amino acid using standard methods. Data obtained was analyzed for mean and standard deviation. Findings showed that the protein content was significantly (P<0.05) higher in Ugba soup (17.64%) than in Owerri soup (10.21%).There was a significant difference (P<0.05) in the carbohydrate content of Ugba (48.20%) than in Ona (33.84%). There was no significant difference (P>0.05) in the vitamin E content of Oha-Okazi soup (2.02ug) and Ugba soup (2.03ug), and isoleucine contents in Oha-Okazi soup and ugba soup (3.47mg), and energy contents of Ugba and Ona (362.47kcal and 361.96kcal). Ugba soup had the highest crude fiber content (9.35%) and Oha-Okazi soup had the lowest crude fibre content (5.78%).The fat content was significantly (P<0.05) higher in Ugba soup (16.68%) than in Owerri soup (6.93%). These indigenous foods are rich sources of macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and amino acids of biological significance. Therefore programs to encourage the consumption of these indigenous dishes at appropriate quantities should be implemented.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE i
TABLE OF CONTENTS v
LIST OF TABLES viii
LIST OF FIGURES ix
1.1 Statement of problem 6
1.2 Objectives of the study 7
1.3 Significance of the study 8
LITERATURE REVIEW 9
2.1 Concept of indigenous foods 9
2.2 Barriers to indigenous foods 12
2.3 Benefits of indigenous foods 13
2.3.1 Palatability 14
2.3.2 Health 14
2.3.3 Food security 15
2.3.4 Enhancing dietary diversity 16
2.3.5 They are well adapted to the regions where they originate 18
MATERIALS AND METHODS
3.1 study design 18
3.2 Area of study 18
3.3 population study 19
3.4 Sampling and sampling technique 19
3.5 Preliminary activities 19
3.6 Data collection 20
3.7 Sample material collection and identification 20
3.8 Sample preparation 21
3.8.1 Preparation of Owerri soup 21
3.8.2 Preparation of Oha-Okazi soup 23
3.8.3 Preparation of Ugba soup 25
3.8.4 Preparation of Ugba 27
3.8.5 Preparation of Ona and Ona sauce 29
3.9 proximate composition 30
3.9.1 Determination of Moisture content 30
3.9.2 Determination of Ash 31
3.9.3 Determination of Fat 31
3.9.4 Determination of Crude protein 32
3.9.5 Determination of Crude fibre 33
3.9.6 Determination of Carbohydrate content 34
3.10. Mineral Content Analysis 35
3.10.1 Determination of Phosphorus 35
3.10.2 Determination of iron 36
3.10.3 Determination of Calcium and Magnesium 37
3.10.4 Determination of Potassium and Sodium 38
3.11 Determination of anti-nutrient and phyto-chemicals 39
3.11.1 Determination of Phytate 39
3.11.2 Determination of Tanin 40
3.11.3 Determination of Saponin 41
3.11.4 Determination of Phenol 42
3. 11.5 Determination of Trypsin inhibitor 42
3.11.6 Determination of Flavonoids content 43
3.12 Amino acid profile 44
3.12.1 Determination of Vitamins 44
3.12.2 Determination of pro-vitamin A 44
3.12.3 Determination of B1 (Thiamin) 45
3.12.4 Determination of B2 (Riboflavin) 46
3.12.5 Determination of Niacin 47
3.12.6 Determination of Vitamin C 48
3.12.7 Determination of Vitamin E 49
3.13 Determination of Energy 51
3.14 Statistical Analysis 51
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents. 52
4.2 Indigenous dishes. 56
4.3 Proximate analysis of the samples. 57
4.4 Vitamin analysis of the indigenous dishes. 65
4.5 Mineral analysis. 72
4.6 Phytochemical analysis. 81
4.7 Anti-nutrient analysis. 85
4.8 Amino acid of the indigenous foods. 89
5.1 Conclusion. 99
5.2 Recommendation. 100
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Food could be defined as any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body (Anguilera and David, 1999). Food can be of either plant or animal origin, generally grouped into six classes and these are carbohydrates, protein, fat and oil, vitamins, minerals and water. According to Ayeomoni (2011), the term “food” is an aspect of cultural tradition. It plays an inextricable role in human lives. It is a source for pleasure, comfort and security and also a symbol of hospitality, a means for social status and religious values. What we select to eat, how we prepare it, serve it, and even how we eat it are all factors that touches our individual cultural inheritance or life. Food plays a vital role in our daily lives because without food we cannot survive.
In the past years, rural household live essentially on natural foods cultivated and processed using traditional and indigenous methods, even the condiments used in cooking were sourced locally from indigenous plants materials for like, Iru (dadawa or locust bean) and shea-butte. These are presently replaced with maggi cubes and the likes.
Nigeria is a country endowed with great diversity of tribes and languages (Blench, 2012), and foods of various kinds (Iwuugba and Eke, 1996). Nigeria diversity in foods may not be different from the evidence that traditions, believes and values were among the main factors influencing the mode of food preparation, preference, serving, nutritional needs and food categories (Ayeomoni, 2011; Cox and Anderson, 2013).
Examples of indigenous food in the Western Nigeria among others are: ekuru, abari, egbo, sako, adun, aje-pass, ojojo, sagidi and South-Eastern Nigeria among others are: Abacha, Achicha ede ,Okpa Ayaraya ji, Ukwa which serves as snacks or food in the rural settings. Indigenous foods in Nigeria have an important role in the life of people. Onimawo (2010) reported that in Nigeria the traditional foods with potentials are available and are many and communities have evolved their own preferences and food habits overtime and will rather stick to what is familiar .Indigenous foods in Nigeria did not just come at a glance among its producers, but as a form of extensive formulations using trial and error methods. What is bad is totally rejected and thrown away. For example, Burukutu (indigenous low alcohol beverage) alone was said to have been conceived overtime. It was concocted deliberately to kill step-children by a step-mother, but unfortunately for her the children drank-slept and woke-up asking for more supply. It is necessary to be aware of special consideration of successful food studies and nutrition promotion activities are carried out with indigenous peoples using their own local food.
Diverse groups and varieties of Nigerian indigenous foods were reported by many researchers (Iwuoha and Eke, 1996; Onimawa, 2010). Within a single tribe, it is easy to have differences in the mode of food production and habits (Ayeomoni, 2011). For example within a set of the food called Kunu (non-alcoholic drink), there are diverse subsets of Kunu. Gaffa et al. (2002) and Solange et al. (2014) reported categories of cereal beverages, each of these either Kunun gyada or Kunun zaki, have diverse varieties. The mode of preparation of one type of Kunu may differ significantly from one ace to another; the name and the final product may also vary with varying potentials. Similarly, another variety may result from the use of different raw materials. Ayo-lawal et al. (2016) reported that melon seeds, fluted pumpkin and castor oil seeds are used to create different varieties of condiments of Ogiri such as Ogiri-egusi, Ogiriugu, Ogiri- isi and Ogiri-okepiye. Besides these, there are general common foods that are either consumed or seen by at least half of the population of Nigerian such as Eba or Tuwo.
The benefits of indigenous foods in communities cannot be overemphasized. The fact that it is often cheap and affordable to the small scale resource, poor rural dwellers and the nutritional benefits it offers. Indigenous and traditional foods, if promoted among the younger generations of the rural and urban dwellers could help to solve the global problem of poverty, hunger and malnutrition (Faber and Wenhold, 2007).Currently many Nigerian elders believe that one of the causes of high death rate among young Nigerians may not be farfetched from the consumption of some of the modern diets. In fact Nigerian indigenous foods have great nutritional and therapeutic potentials that one cannot just ignore. The advantages of using Nigerian indigenous foods for humanitarian interventions are numerous. It is recognized that indigenous foods and dietary diversity within an ecosystem can be powerful sources of nutrients and thus are better for health. It has been recognized that indigenous foods can play a major role in enhancing quality of diets and improving food and nutrition security. Using indigenous food in health promotion is most reasonably applied in areas where such foods is most likely to be recognized by the group and readily available .Indigenous foods can be used in solving diet related problems, such as in combating hunger and starvation, malnutrition and non-communicable diseases. Faced with increasing food shortages, agriculturalists and food scientists are becoming increasingly interested in previously neglected tropical grains and indigenous vegetables such as finger millet, amaranth grain, pigeon pea, field bean, pumpkin, sweet potatoes drumstick leaves, amaranth leaves and pumpkin leaves (Islam 2006). Indigenous foods are rich and inexpensive sources of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins to millions of peoples in developed and developing countries, and are some of the basic foods of the indigenous populations of Africa (Luthria and Pastor-Corrales, 2006). Further, adaptation to adverse environmental conditions, resistance to pests, cultural acceptability and sufficient nutritional qualities are the key advantages of these indigenous foods. In developing countries like Kenya, due to high cost and limited access to animal food products that provide high intakes of minerals such as iron and zinc, the main dietary sources of minerals are cereals and legumes. Traditional plant foods are believed to be highly nutritious; containing high levels of both vitamins and minerals (Orech et al., 2007).
Despite this assentation, the use of indigenous foods has declined due to the non-availability of these foods in modern commercialized and industrialized markets and lack of investment in research and development. The indigenous crops have been largely ignored by commercial farming, research and development, thus becoming less competitive than well-established major crops, and losing gradually their diversity and the associated traditional knowledge.
The recognition of the involvement of diet in the development of many diseases has led to an expansion in the number and range of studies of the relationship between diet and health and disease, which has led to a greater focus on nutrient data. A knowledge of the chemical composition of foods is the first essential in dietary treatment of disease or in any quantitative study of human nutrition (Greenfield and Southgate, 2003).
More detail is needed on the nutrient composition of indigenous foods and their amino acid profile in literature. Consequently this study aims to investigate the chemical composition of some selected indigenous dishes in Imo state with emphasis on amino acid profile.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The traditional food systems of indigenous people contain a wealth of micronutrients that have been poorly described and reported in scientific literature (Kuhnlein, 2003). The typical diets of vulnerable populations with high prevalence of malnutrition and under nutrition consist predominantly of starch-rich staples, such as a cereal or tuber, with limited amounts of fruits, vegetables, legumes and pulses (Solomon & Owolawashe, 2007). Such diets are bulky, have low nutrient density and poor bioavailability of minerals and vitamins and therefore result in impaired growth, development and a host of chronic diseases. Traditional knowledge and diverse food resources may be substantial enough to be used to improve nutrition status. Agriculture and public health agents ignore the potentials of indigenous foods to provide micronutrient and other basic nutrients required for good health. Nigerian nutritionists and dieticians are faced with difficulty in assessing the nutritional composition of indigenous dishes since they only consult a few available published references on Nigeria dishes and food which are fragmented in some books and journal. Some of the information available are outdated and no proper documentation of improved or revised versions of such information exists (Obiakor et al, 2014). Therefore this poses a problem to dietary counseling prescription. The inadequacy of scientific coverage prevents the information from being included in health training programs and public-health promotion programs. Knowledge of the nutritive value of indigenous dishes, soup ingredients and local food stuffs is necessary in order to encourage the increase consumption of these foods. Consequently, a detailed evaluation of the nutritional component of these indigenous dishes is imperative. People working in the health sector who wish to incorporate traditional knowledge about locally available food should first enlist the collaboration of indigenous communities.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to evaluate the chemical composition and amino acid profile of some selected indigenous foods in Imo state.
The specific objectives are to:
i. Identify the commonly eaten indigenous foods in Imo state.
ii. Determine the proximate composition (energy, protein, fat ash, crude fiber, and carbohydrate) of some selected indigenous foods in Imo state.
iii. Determine the vitamin composition (Vitamin: A, B1, B2, B3, C, and E) of some selected indigenous foods in Imo state.
iv. Determine the mineral composition (Fe, Zn, Ca, Mg, K, P, and Na) of some selected indigenous foods in Imo state.
v. Determine the anti-nutrients (tannin, phytate, trypsin inhibitor) and phyto- chemical (phenol, saponin, flavonoids) of some selected indigenous foods in Imo state.
iv. Determine the amino acid profile of some selected indigenous foods in Imo state.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The outcome of this study will shed more light on the relevance of indigenous food selection in changing eating pattern and life style for the public. This work will inform policy makers who will promote indigenous foods as an important cultural heritage that must be preserved as well as a crucial contributor to the diet (providing essential micronutrients and health benefits). The amino acid profile and the chemical composition will form the basis which the nutritionist and home economist will educate people as well as provide recommendation that could be utilized by the relevant authorities to improve food intervention program in Imo state and Nigeria at large. The agricultural and public-health sector agents who are working with indigenous people will be aware of the potential of the local food resources to provide micronutrients and other basic nutrients required for good health.
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