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Aims: To evaluate the chemical, microbiological, physico-chemical and sensory properties of fruit juice produced from blends of soursop, mango and watermelon.
Study Design: The data obtained were analyzed using statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 20. The mean and standard deviation were calculated using analysis of variance. Means were separated by Duncan’s new multiple range test.
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 Juices extracted from Soursop Mango and Watermelon (designated as S, M and W respectively) were blended to give samples containing soursop, mango and watermelon juices in the ratio of 60:25:15, 15:60:25, 25:15:60 and 33.3:33.3:33.3, respectively. The samples were processed, bottled and analyzed for proximate, phytochemical and micronutrients composition, physico-chemical, microbial and sensory qualities using standard methods.
Results: There were significant (p < 0.05) differences in the proximate composition, micro-nutrient and phytochemical composition of the mixed fruit juice blend. The moisture content, ash content, crude fiber, crude fat, crude protein and carbohydrate ranged from 85.0 to 90.03%, 0.14 to 0.6%, 0.95 to 2.94%, 0.19 to 0.44%, 0.75 to 1.72% and 7.23 to 11.48% respectively. pH, brix and Titratable acidity of samples varied significantly (p < 0.05) and ranged from 5.92 to 6.11%, 8.85 to 12.80% and 0.38 to 0.69% respectively. The flavonoid, total phenol and pro-vitamin A contents of the blends ranged from 9.14 to11.04%, 0.3 to 0.5% and 13.01 to 72.9% respectively. Vitamin C, potassium and calcium contents ranged from 28.25 to 41.75 mg/100ml, 108.32 to 168.92 mg/100 ml and 7.05 to 12.69 mg/100 ml respectively. The microbial results showed that total viable count found present in the mixed fruit juice blended samples ranged from 3.0 x 101 to 9.0 x 101. The sensory scores showed that all the samples were generally accepted while sample which had equal proportions of the individual juices had the highest overall acceptability due to the homogeneity, luscious taste, appearance and consistency of the blend. The overall results showed that improving the quality and availability of fruit and fruit products through processing will raise consumer awareness, boost fruit consumption and improve health, check post-harvest losses and harness the therapeutic advantages of fruits. Blending of soursop, mango and watermelon juices in varying proportions produced acceptable juice that compared favorably with a commercial mixed juice blend in terms of vitamins C and pro-vitamin A content, total sugar, brix content and acidity.
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