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Title: Characterization and application of bambara groundnut starch-lipid complexes
Authors: Oyeyinka, Samson Adeoye 
Issue Date: 2017
Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea) is an indigenous underutilised leguminous crop to Africa. It is a good source of protein and carbohydrate including starch. Bambara groundnut is a traditional crop grown mainly for subsistence in Southern Africa. Bambara groundnut has the advantage of being drought tolerant and can thrive in hot temperatures and poor soil conditions. Therefore, it has great potential as an alternative crop to soya bean and peanuts for cultivation and utilisation. Bambara groundnut starch can potentially be used for various industrial applications. However, native starches are not suitable for most industrial applications, hence the need for modification. Bambara groundnut starch has been previously modified using physical and chemical modification methods. Natural alternatives such as the use of lipids are being sought to modify starches due to the associated risk with chemically modified starch. In this research, Bambara groundnut starch was modified with lipids to improve functional properties, utilisation and application. Specifically, the physicochemical properties of native Bambara groundnut starch obtained from five Bambara groundnut genotypes and three landraces (maroon, brown and cream) were determined. Bambara groundnut starch was modified with lipids (palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid and lysophosphatidylcholine) and the physicochemical properties of the modified starch were investigated. Further, the influence of high-pressure homogenization on complexation of Bambara groundnut starch with lipids was assessed in comparison with maize and potato starches. Lastly, an application of modified Bambara groundnut starch in biofilm production was also studied.
Bambara groundnut landraces generally showed higher amylose contents (approx. 33%) than the genotypes (approx. 28%). Differences were observed in the crystalline patterns of these starches. Bambara groundnut genotypes exhibited the C-type-crystallinity, while the landraces showed the unusual A-type pattern. In terms of functionality, landrace starches showed better swelling than the genotypes. Subsequent studies on modification used maroon Bambara groundnut starch since the amylose content was higher than other landraces and there was a consistent supply of the grains during the period of the study.
Generally, Bambara groundnut starch showed higher complexing ability with all the lipids than maize and potato reference samples. These differences in complexing ability among the starches could be due to the variation in amylose contents (Bambara groundnut starch: 31.5%, maize: 22.5% and potato: 24.6%). Fatty acids complexed better with Bambara groundnut starch than lysophosphatidylcholine, which could be due to the structural differences in comparison with the lysophosphatidylcholine molecule. The number of fatty acid in the glycerol backbone and the additional steric hindrance of the polar phosphatidic acid group in the lysophosphatidylcholine may have reduced its complexing ability. Among the fatty acids, palmitic acid complexed better than stearic and the unsaturated fatty acids, possibly due to its short chain length compared to other fatty acids. Bambara groundnut starch showed reduced peak and setback viscosities in the presence of stearic acid, linoleic acid and lysophosphatidylcholine, suggesting the formation of V-amylose complex. Bambara groundnut starch pasted with lipids displayed reduced gelling ability compared to their unmodified counterparts. XRD studies of freeze-dried paste revealed peaks at 2Ѳ = 7.4, 12.9 and 19.9o confirming the formation V-amylose complexes in Bambara groundnut starch. Modification of Bambara groundnut starch with lipids resulted in reduced digestibility.
High-pressure homogenization significantly increased the complexing ability of Bambara groundnut starch with lipids. Homogenized Bambara groundnut starch-lipid complexes generally exhibited higher complex index than their unhomogenized counterparts. The higher complexing ability could be attributed to the effect of high-pressure which may have enhanced greater dispersion of lipids in the starch-water system. X-ray diffraction studies also revealed the formation of higher complexes as shown by high intensities at peaks (2Ѳ= 7.4, 12.9 and 19.9o) corresponding to V-amylose complexes. Bambara groundnut starch-lipid complexes displayed significantly higher melting temperatures (95.74-103.82oC) compared to native uncomplexed starch (77.32oC). Homogenized Bambara groundnut starch complexes were non-gelling while the unhomogenized types produced weak gels, with G′ ˃ G″ in the range of 0.1- 10 Hz. Complexation of Bambara groundnut starch with lipids using high-pressure homogenization may be employed in the production of modified starch with non-gelling properties and higher thermal stability suitable for certain industrial application, such as fat replacers in mayonnaise, frozen foods and desserts for a better mouth feel.
The physicochemical and mechanical properties of biofilm prepared from Bambara groundnut starch modified with stearic acid at varying concentrations of 0, 2, 4, 6, 7 or 10% were further studied. By SEM, Bambara groundnut starch films containing stearic acid (˃ 2%) showed a progressively rough surface compared to those with 2% stearic acid and the control. The addition of 2% stearic acid to Bambara groundnut starch film reduced water vapour permeability by approximately 17%. However, mechanical properties of starch films were generally negatively affected by stearic acid. Bambara groundnut starch film may be modified with 2% stearic acid for improved water vapour permeability and thermal stability with minimal effect on tensile strength.
Submitted in fulfillment of the academic requirement for the degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Food Science and Technology, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Applied Sciences)

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