Conservation of the Functional Properties of Okra Powder by Local Storage Techniques
Author(s): Elizabeth Ufuoma Etaware, Peter Mudiaga Etaware
Okra is an essential vegetable plagued by postharvest losses with a total of 25-30% loss accrued between handling and consumption. Drying is one process that can reduce postharvest losses. Sadly, several chemicals and structural changes occur during drying, which are not accounted for, and some moisture mediated biological reactions are halted. The current research was poised to determine the functionality of the functional properties of okra powder under diverse processing techniques/local storage conditions. Standard food assessment techniques were conducted using the principles of AOAC. There was no significant difference (P<0.05) in the water absorption capacity [WAC] and water solubility index [WSI] of the freshly prepared okra powder and those stored in cupboards and on the shelf for one month. The bulk density of Kubewa okra powder [stored on the Shelf (0.76cm3) and in the Cupboard (0.76cm3), respectively] showed no significant difference with that of the freshly prepared okra powder [sun-dried (0.79cm3) and oven-dried (0.78cm3), respectively] regardless of the drying technique used in the removal of moisture from the raw okra samples. The current research was able to determine a suitable storage method for processing okra powder in places where there are power insurgences, poor urban amenities or rural areas with poor market facilities.