Quality control studies on Agbelima - development of quality specifications and evaluation of cassava varieties for processing

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Quality control is an important aspect of food manufacture, but the institution of an effective quality control system requires the development of standard quality specifications for the particular product. It is important that the interests of both the consumer and producer are taken into consideration in developing such standards. Agbelima is a fermented cassava product of major dietary importance in Ghana, and has in recent times gained entry into international trade. However, no quality specifications have been established for the product. An investigation was conducted to identify important sensory quality attributes consumers and producers associate with Agbelima, the relative importance of these attributes in assessing Agbelima quality, objective indicators of human evaluation for each sensory attribute, possible acceptance limits for each attribute and cassava varieties and processing conditions that gave the best quality products. Colour, cohesiveness, smoothness, aroma and sourness were identified as the first five most important sensory attributes in descending order of importance. The identified objective indicators of human evaluation of each of the attributes were C* and b* for colour, starch content for cohesiveness, average particle size and fineness modulus for smoothness, and total titratable acidity and pH for sourness. No objective indicator was identified for aroma. Optimum quality ranges for all attributes were also identified. The cassava variety/fermentation time combinations that gave the best quality Agbelima were TMS 30572 at 72 hrs, TMS 4(2)1425 at 48 hrs, TMS 30572 at 48 hrs, and TMS 4(2)1425 at 72 hrs fermentation times, in descending order of Agbelima quality.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Food Science and Technology, 1996