What is it about?

Three cowpea varieties (a local variety, an insect susceptible variety and an insect resistant variety) were used to study the effect of insect infestation and packaging material on the nutritional quality and functional properties of the cowpea flours and protein concentrates. Infestation reduced the fat, protein and prolamin fractions of the protein concentrate of the cowpeas in all cases. The improved variety for insect resistance (IT 81D-975) was the least affected. Storage for 24 weeks in plastic cans led to better retention of emulsion properties (which were higher in the insect resistant variety than in others). Fatty acid content and peroxide values (which are indices of deterioration) increased by over 100 % in all cases. The variety and the type of packaging material affected the composition of cowpea flours and concentrates. The prolamin fraction of the protein concentrate was the most badly affected (over 25 % reduction). Insect resistant varieties should be stored in plastic cans for short term domestic use.

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Why is it important?

Deterioration in seed quality caused by insect infestation depletes even the protein concentrate and fractions Insect resistant varieties of grains should be used and they should be properly packaged


Insect infestation of grains reduces the nutrient composition, alters the functional properties and introduces harmful substances into the grains.

Professor Philippa C OJIMELUKWE
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia state, Nigeria

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This page is a summary of: , Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, January 2002, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1023/a:1015218715716.
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