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Aim: The aim was to evaluate the chemical, physical, sensory and microbial qualities of fruit bars produced from blends of banana and cashew apple fruits and to investigate the applicability of cashew apple in fruit bar production.
Study Design: The experimental design used was the complete randomized design (CRD) and the data obtained were analyzed using one – way analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Place and duration of Study: The study took place at the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka between January and July, 2016.
Methodology: Fruit bar samples were prepared with blends of ripe banana and cashew apple purees in the ratios of 90:10, 80:20, 70:30, 60:40, 50: 50% (Banana puree : Cashew apple puree). One hundred percent (100%) banana pulp based fruit bar served as the control. Formulated fruit bars contained 7% sugar, 5% date powder, 0.2% sodium metabisulphite and 0.5% citric acid in 1000 g of fruit purees and dried at 80oC for 8 hours. Fruit bar samples were analysed for sensory qualities, proximate composition, micronutrient compositions (vitamin C and potassium), physicochemical properties (pH, brix and titratable acidiy), and microbiological quality using standard methods.
Results: There were significant (p<0.05) differences in the proximate composition, potassium, vitamin C and tannin content of samples. The carbohydrate, protein, crude fibre, ash and moisture contents ranged from 68.78 to 74.51%, 3.06 to 3.38%, 1.00 to 2.05%, 2.33 to 2.76% and 18.92 to 22.64% respectively. The fruit bars have high caloric energy values. The vitamin C content increased as the ratio of cashew apple increased. Potassium and tannin contents of the samples ranged from 125.50 to 220.00mg/100g and 52.04 to 84.23 mg/100g respectively. Titratable acidity, pH and brix of samples varied significantly (p < 0.05) and ranged from 0.23 to 0.37%, 4.00 to 4.65% and 7.10 to 11.85% respectively. The microbial results showed that total viable count found present in the fruit bar samples ranged from 4.0 x 102 to 1.3 x 103 while the mould count ranged from 2.0 x 101 to 7.0 x 101. The sensory scores showed that all samples were generally accepted while the sample with 20% of cashew apple was the most preferred. These results showed that underutilized fruits such as cashew apple can be utilized in this regard instead of being wasted.
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