The effect of Sprouting on the in vitro Digestibility of Maize and Cowpea
Despite the high protein content of cowpeas, their maximum contribution to nutrition has not been fully exploited in many parts of the world because of the following problems: the presence of anti-nutritional factors, such as trypsin inhibitor, which are common with legumes; flatulence factors; low level of sulphur amino acids, particularly methionine; and, in many instances, the inconvenience involved in their long preparation into local dishes. Moreover, there is the problem of the beany off-flavour. Grinding treatments that break most of the cells and release the cell contents of raw legumes prevent the subsequent development of the characteristic beany flavor on cooking. An off-flavour develops when ground raw legumes are suspended in water probably because of mixing of the cell contents enzyme lipoxygenase and could be controlled by adjusting the pH of the slurry towards the acid side.
Germination is widely claimed as a means of correcting nutrient deficiencies of particular seeds, especially through alterations in the amino acid balance of the proteins and enhancement of the content of vitamins. This wide belief is emphasized and investigated in this research. In maize, however, the various food enzymes exited during germination had already played vital roles in breaking down the higher molecular components to simple molecules especially protein, which eases the digestibility as depicted in this investigation.
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