EFFECT OF PROCESSING METHODS AND TIME ON THE VITAMIN C CONTENTS OF SOME LEAFY VEGETABLES SOLD IN LOKOJA, NIGERIA
A simple iodometric method of titration was used to determine the effect of storage, processing type and time on the vitamin C content of the leaves and stalk of Spinacea oleracea (alefo), Vernonia amygdalina (bitterleaf), Telfaria occidentalis( ugu), and Corchorus olitorius (ewedu). Processing methods like blanching, sundrying, and fridge storage were applied to each vegetable. Fresh leaves and stalk under no processing condition showed a vitamin C content of 140.5mg/100g and 61.0mg/100g for V. Amygdalina, while those of C.olitorius gave 28.2mg/100g and 4.4mg/100g respectively. Blanching at 20°C for 2 minutes yielded a higher amount of Vitamin C when compared to blanching at 100°C and 60°C. The highest loss of 95% was recorded for sundried leaves and stalk of all vegetables analysed. Fridge storage returned a higher amount of vitamin C for S.oleracea at day 1 and the lowest value for C.olitorius for the same day. The implication is that blanching and sundrying were observed not to be suitable as processing methods for vegetables especially in the tropics. Cold storage on the other hand remains a viable option.
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