Evaluating Okra

June 10/Ibadan, Nigeria/Technology Business Journal -- According to recent research from Ibadan, Nigeria, "Effects of freezing/thawing, sun drying, solar drying, and foam-mat drying on physical, chemical, rheological and sensory attributes of okra were investigated. Average poured bulk and tapped bulk densities of sun-dried, solar-dried, and foam-mat-dried okra were 800 and 950, 715 and 765, 355 and 367kg/m(3), respectively."

"Minimum and maximum porosity of sun-dried, solar-dried, and foam-mat dried okra were 55.70% and 62.60%, 50.06% and 53.30%, 60.90% and 62.87%, respectively. Sun-dried and solar-dried okra showed higher L*, a* and chroma values than frozen/thawed and foam-mat-dried okra. Within a temperature range of 80-40 degrees C, viscosity of fresh, frozen/thawed, foam-mat-dried, solar-dried, and sun-dried okra were 0.055-0.080, 0.055-0.075, 0.050-0.073, 0.005-0.065, and 0.005-0.022 Nsm(-2), respectively. Sensory evaluation showed no significant difference (p<0.05) between fresh, frozen/thawed and foam-mat dried okra in color, aroma and overall acceptability," wrote K.O. Falade and colleagues, University of Ibadan.

The researchers concluded, "Sun-dried and solar-dried okra were significantly poorer (p<0.05) in color, aroma, taste and overall acceptability."

Falade and colleagues published their study in Food and Bioprocess Technology ("Effect of Processing Methods on Physical, Chemical, Rheological, and Sensory Properties of Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)." Food and Bioprocess Technology, 2010;3(3):387-394).

For additional information, contact K.O. Falade, University of Ibadan, Dept. of Food Technology, Ibadan, Nigeria.

From the June 21, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition