Marama bean (Tylosema esculentum (Burch) A. Schreib) is an underutilised, drought- tolerant legume native to the semi-arid areas of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. The edible seeds of marama beans are good sources of protein and fat, and its flours can potentially enhance the nutritional quality of sorghum porridge, a staple in many African countries. Sorghum has a low protein content and is deficient in lysine. Compositing sorghum with lysine-rich marama flour when preparing porridges would address this problem. Utilisation of marama flour in composite porridge depends on sensory acceptance. In this study nutritional and sensory quality of marama-sorghum composite flours and porridges are investigated. Full fat and defatted flours from unheated and dry heated (150 °C /20 min) marama beans were composited with condensed tannin-free sorghum meal (30:70). Marama flours, sorghum meal, marama-sorghum composite flours and porridges were analysed for proximate composition, amino acid composition, energy value, fatty acid composition, total phenolic content and antioxidant activity. Porridges (10% solids) were subjected to descriptive sensory analysis, consumer acceptance test (n=52), texture analysis, pasting profiles and colour measurements. Sorghum porridge and porridge composite with full fat marama flour from heated beans were more acceptable than other composite porridges. Compositing sorghum meal with marama flour reduced the cooked sorghum aroma/flavour intensities prominent in sorghum porridge. Dry heating marama beans prior to milling resulted in a roasted nutty flavour in the final product. Porridges from heated marama beans were darker in colour than porridges from unheated beans. This could be attributed to flavour and colour development due to Maillard reaction during dry heating. Composite porridges from full fat marama flours were described as buttery/creamy. A bitter taste and aftertaste was perceived in porridges from defatted flours. Presence of fat seems to mask bitterness in porridges. Marama-sorghum composites and Tsabotlhe porridges were less viscous than sorghum porridge. This was confirmed by pasting profiles (low final viscosities) and texture analysis indicating reduced firmness. Starch contributes greatly to the textural properties of sorghum porridge. Marama flour has no starch. Compositing the flour with sorghum reduced starch levels in the composite porridges. This explains the reduction in viscosity and firmness of the porridges. Compositing sorghum meal with marama flours significantly increased protein and fat contents in flours and porridges. The fat content in marama-sorghum flours was in the range of 5.6 to 14.6%. Protein increase ranged from 61% to 96% in marama-sorghum composite porridges compared with sorghum porridge. There was 11-24% energy value increase in marama-sorghum composite porridges compared with sorghum porridge. Porridges composited with full fat flours contributed to higher energy values than those composited with defatted flours. This is because of fat energy contribution. Lysine content in marama flour was significantly higher than sorghum meal. Lysine content was 3 to 4 times higher in marama-sorghum porridges than in sorghum porridge. Unsaturated fatty acids were the most present in both marama-sorghum composite porridges and sorghum porridge. There was an increase in oleic acid as marama flour was composited with sorghum. Marama flours had higher levels of total phenolics than sorghum flour. Marama flour has high levels of tyrosine which could react with the Folin Ciocalteu reagent thus leading to an increase in measurable phenols. Marama flours from dry heated beans had higher total phenolic content and antioxidant activity than flours from unheated beans. Heating may have increased phenolic compound extractability due to release of bound phenolics. There was a positive correlation between the total phenolic content and antioxidant activity (r = 0.80, p < 0.05) in all samples. Findings from this study indicate that marama flour can potentially be used to improve the nutritional quality of sorghum porridges. Furthermore this study shows that use of full fat flour in marama-sorghum composite porridges give more acceptable sensory properties.
Dissertation (MScAgric)--University of Pretoria, 2011.