Crude palm oil (CPO), richest known food in provitamin A, is very important to fight against vitamin A deficiency. In Cameroon, it is used to cook many dishes among which maize cake. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of some preparation parameters on carotenoids contents of this dish.
Commonly, to cook maize cake, flour is mixed with water, salt and oil to form a paste. This paste is then packed and steamed. In this study we evaluate the effect of cooking time, quantity of paste wrapped, kind of wrap used (banana leaves, aluminum paper, aluminum boxes and nylon paper), quantity of oil and water added to the paste on the carotenoids content of maize cake. Thus we did several cooking assays by varying these parameters. For each essay, carotenoids content was evaluated before and after cooking. After cooking, organoleptic qualities were evaluated.
We found that for each essay, carotenoids content significantly decreased during cooking. This carotenoids reduction increased with cooking time, accessibility to water vapor of wrap and with quantity of water added to the paste. Further, this reduction decrease with the quantity of paste wrapped and with the quantity of CPO added to the paste. Moreover, organoleptic quality of cooked maize cake was different while varying each parameter.
During cooking of foods with CPO, carotenoids are really affected. So, in order to optimize the potential of this oil, housewives should develop the strategies to reduce maximally carotenoids losses during cooking of foods.