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Feasibility of using sealed polyethylene film in prolonged storage of gari

Ukpabi, U. J., Omodamiro R. M. and Oti, E

Ten varieties of cassava (NR87184, NR930061, NR84292, NR930255, NR84292, NR930255, TMS96-0304, TMS71762, NR8212, TMS92-0326, NR930199 and NR930127), were used to product gari samples (palm-oiled and non palm-oiled types). High density polyethylene film (food grade, 75-80 microns thick) was used to produce experimental storage bags and 100g gari per bag were heat sealed and kept in woody cupboard. Some physicochemical analyses such as swelling index, pH and moisture content which are main indicators quality attribute of gari were monitored periodically for the period of 12 months. The moisture content ranged from 6.54-6.80 and 6.53-6.75% for palm-oiled and non- palm-oiled respectively. From the results obtained, it could be seen that the polyethylene film is a good barrier against moisture; as none of the gari sample has up to 7.50% moisture content from the pre-storage moisture content of 6.10-7.38%. There was variation in the pH, 3.76-4.05 was observed in the palm-oiled and for non palm-oiled gari types. The changes in pH were slight and did not get up to pH of 4.5 (which ensures the absence of botulism in the packaged product) throughout the storage period. While the swelling index ranged from 3.18-3.03 and 3.10-3.03 for palm-oiled and non palm-oiled gari. The results of the swelling index tend to confirm the observed non-degradation of the gari granules to mouldy powders throughout the storage period. Oiled gari made from four cultivars (TMS9292/0326, NR930255, NR930127 and TMS96/0304) lost their yellow colour during the storage period. Sensory evaluation of eba made from the experimental gari samples after 12 months of storage was conducted, they were still generally acceptable. It may be said that polyethylene film (food grade, 75-80 microns) may be used to store non-oiled gari for up to 12 months.

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