Biochemical and Microbiological Analysis of Shea Nut Cake: A Waste Product from Shea Butter Processing

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
In the quest for finding alternative ways of utilizing shea nut cake produced in large quantities as a by-product by both the local and well established industries, 24 samples of shea nut cake were obtained from six industries to investigate the presence of microorganisms, minerals, proximate and phytochemical constituents. The samples were examined for total viable count, total coliforms, faecal and E. coli contamination as well as other coliforms bacteria. The shea nut cake samples were also screened for bioactive (medicinal) potentials capable of managing microbial diseases. The means in log cfu/g of total viable count, total coliforms, faecal coliforms and E.coli were 4.98 ± 1.17, 1.95 ± 0.74, 0.82 ± 0.49, and 0.48 ± 0.42 respectively. Other microbes identified were Brevibacilllus agri, Bacillus mycoides, Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. The phytochemical screening of extracts of the cake samples revealed that shea nut cake contains saponins, tannins, alkaloids, terpenoids and reducing sugar. The proximate results indicated that the shea nut cake has 13.03 ± 1.70% crude proteins, 59.37 ± 8.66% carbohydrates, 23.38 ± 10.15% crude fat, 4.25 ± 0.79% ash content, 5.29 ± 0.98% moisture and 8.71 ± 0.85% fibre. The Nitrogen, Potassium, and Magnesium contents of the cake were 2.96 ± 0.39, 4.05 ± 0.62, and 1.43 ± 0.65 mg/kg respectively. The rest of the minerals were Phosphorus 0.22 ± 0.04, Sodium 0.40 ± 0.05, Calcium 0.51 ± 0.09, Copper 0.09 ± 0.05, Mercury 0.10 ± 0.56 and Lead 0.13 ± 0.07 mg/kg. Lead exposures increase blood pressure in adults and have developmental and neurobehavioural effects on foetuses, infants and children. Mercury accumulates in the food chain when in organic form and it is toxic in the elemental form. This study highlights the potential applications of the shea nut cake in the animal feed, fertilizer and therapeutic industries.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Award of Master of Philosophy degree in Biochemistry