Processing and Sensory Attributes of Improved Shea butter
Keywords:, Improved shea butter, simple processing methods, citric acid and sensory attributes.
Shea butter is an under-utilized fat that contributes minimally to edible fat and oil supply due to poor sensory quality and low acceptability. Literature is sparse on simple, non-solvent, and adoptable methods of improving the sensory attributes of shea butter. This research was designed to produce improved shea butter and ascertain the effect of simple processing methods on its sensory scores and acceptability. Shea butter was manually extracted by hand-churning the paste from fried, toasted, boiled and parboiled sheanuts. Extracted shea butters were clarified by addition of citric acid, steam deodorized and flavoured by addition of coconut and onion/ginger essences. Sensory evaluations of improved shea butters were determined using panelists on a 9 point hedonic scale. Data were analyzed using ANOVA at p = 0. 05. All the improved shea butter was acceptable, though boiled sheanut butter was prefered. Treatment with citric acid solution clarified and improved the sensory properties of shea butter. Addition of coconut flavour also, significantly improved the sensory attributes. ThisÂ method of improving the sensory attributes of shea butterÂ is simple and if extended and adopted, could increase its acceptability as an edible fat/oil. It should be noted that other appropriate food flavours could be used.
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