Development of moringa oleifera leaf beverage

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Moringa is thought to have the potential of providing vital nutrition as well as health and well being to consumers. In this work, fresh Moringa leaves juice extract was envisaged as a good vehicle of spreading its nutraceutical benefits. To this end, the study design was in two parts: (a) surveys to establish the consumption patterns of beverages in Accra and (b) a fresh Moringa leaves’ extract formulation and optimization. The survey was conducted by administering a questionnaire to volunteer adult consumers in randomly selected communities in Accra. To develop an acceptable Moringa leave extract beverage, pineapple juice, carrot extract and ginger distillate were included as components to improve taste, color and flavor respectively. A constrained, simplex centroid mixture design for three components was employed to optimize the proportions of the components in the final product based on sensory attributes. Proximate and other chemical analyses as well as shelf stability studies under three different storage conditions of temperature were done for the optimized product. Data obtained from the survey revealed that juices were the most consumed beverages, particularly among women. The choice of a particular juice drink was very much influenced by its color. Contour plots generated from sensory data of the products were overlaid to determine the optimum ratios of the juice extracts. The final composition consisting of 50-52% Moringa, 38-40% Pineapple and 10-12% carrots was validated to be adequate. The optimized beverage recorded 2.9 g/100ml of protein, 1.02 mg/100ml of iron and 159.14 mg/100ml of vitamin C. After 8 weeks of storage 78% of vitamin C was still retained even under the most severe storage conditions (sunlight). There were no microbial growths under all the conditions of storage, and the product was still acceptable. The findings show that fresh Moringa leaves could be processed into an acceptable beverage, so that its beneficial nutraceutical properties could very easily be distributed.
Thesis Submitted to the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology in Partial Fulfillment for the Requirement of the Award of Master of Science Degree in Food Science and Technology