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Aim: The variability in the methods of preparing indigenous foods have led to uncertainty in the nutrient composition, sensory properties and quality of many foods consumed in Nigeria. This study is aimed at standardizing the different methods of preparing melon and groundnut soups and assessing their nutrient compositions as consumed in Cross River State (CRS), Nigeria.
Methodology: Melon (Citrullus vulgaris) and Groundnut (Arachis hypogea) seeds were purchased in Calabar, CRS, Nigeria in the month of February. Twelve Local Governments Areas (LGA) were randomly selected from the Eighteen LGAs in CRS. Focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted in each of the communities to determine common methods of cooking melon and groundnut soup and variations in recipes. Recipes collected during the FGD were standardized and prepared as described. Nutrient compositions were determined using standard laboratory methods. Data generated were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The least significant difference (LSD) was accepted at P<0.05.
Results: All the soup samples were liked and accepted. For melon soup, method 1 and 2 had better rating and similar values for all the sensory parameters, although, method 1 had better general acceptability score. For groundnut soup, method 1 and 3 had better ratings and similar values for aroma, taste, colour, texture and general acceptability. The range for the proximate compositions were as follows; for melon soup, moisture 68.8- 70.9%; protein 10.1-11 %, fat 9.5-11.2%, ash 2.3-2.7%, dietary fibre 5.5-6%. For the groundnut soup, moisture ranged from 68.6-71.1%, protein 10.1-10.9%, fat 9.4-12.1%, ash 2.2-2.5%, dietary fibre 6-6.8%.
Conclusion: The standardized methods of preparing these soups will be useful in maintaining quality and quantity for easy reproducibility.
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