Joachim Dotto of the Department of Food Biotechnology and Nutritional Sciences, Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania recently conducted a study in conducted in northern Tanzania to investigate the nutrient composition and selected physicochemical properties of fifteen Mchare cooking bananas.
This study investigated the proximate composition, selected minerals potassium (K), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) and some quality attributes of fifteen Mchare cooking bananas mainly consumed in northern Tanzania. Analyses were conducted using the standard methods to ascertain bananas’ potential in food-based strategies in order to improve nutrition-sensitive agriculture and address hidden-hunger.
Data were subjected to analysis of variance and means were compared. There were significant differences in all parameters assessed. Results further indicated that the moisture content ranged from 66 to 74 g/100 g; ash 0.66 to 1.50 g/100 g; fat 0.10 to 0.60 g/100 g; fiber 1.0 to 3.0 g/100 g; carbohydrate 22 to 30 g/100 g. Mineral content ranged from 306 to 469 mg/100 g; 3.0 to 6.0 mg/100 g; 0.4 to 1.0 mg/100 g and 0.10 to 0.20 mg/100 g for K, Ca, Fe and Zn respectively, indicating potential nutritional significance. The total titratable acidity (TTA) ranged from 1.5 to 2.3%, total soluble solids (TSS) 1.0 to 2.0 ° Brix while pH ranged from 5.4 to 6.0 suggesting a substantial contribution to the sensory attributes of bananas, which is an important sensory attribute for consumers.
He concluded by stating that cooking bananas could, therefore, play a key role in contributing to alleviating hidden-hunger and food insecurity through developing new food recipes.