Prof. Olayinka Karim of the Department of Home Economics and Food Science, University of Ilorin (Unilorin), has invented a delicacy, using Sweet Potato to enrich Noodles.
In her research work entitled: “Good foods yesterday, better today, best tomorrow,” the don said noodles were a type of food made from unleavened dough which were rolled flat and cut, stretched or extruded, into long strips or strings.
Karim, who lectures in the Faculty of Agriculture of the uwniversity, stated that Nigeria is the 12th largest noodle market and consumed about 1.67 billion meals in 2010.
According to her, the consumption of the food has risen to 1.76 billion in 2019.
She explained that the study she conducted on the use of blends of wheat, sweet potato and soy flour for production of noodles, showed that 100 per cent wheat noodles took longer time to cook, about 10.5 minutes than from composite flour.
“Similarly, the cooking loss was found to increase continuously from 13.59 per cent for noodles made with 100 per cent wheat flour to 25.33 per cent for noodles containing 55 per cent wheat, 25 per cent sweet potato and 20 per cent soy flour,” she said.
The nutritionist however said that the noodles from 90 per cent wheat, five per cent sweet potato and five per cent soy bean flour, had the highest cooking yield, best nutritional qualities and strength.
She observed that the quality of sweet potato noodles was far superior, better food than any noodles found around.
She said this was an opportunity for the nation to boost the use of locally produced crops as raw materials for food industries in the country.
The expert in food science explained that the orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato was rich in beta-carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A, and despite the nutritional potential of sweet potato, it remained largely untapped in Nigeria.
“The utilisation of sweet potato for the production of today and tomorrow’s foods should therefore be considered,” she said.