In this study, techno-functional and sensorial properties of cassava pasta, as influenced by incorporating fluted pumpkin leaf (“ugwu”) powder and the cultivar variation effect were evaluated. Fortification of cassava pasta with the leaf powder at incorporation levels of 5% and 10% decreased the particle sizes of the products while yellow cassava flour showed larger particle size distribution than the white cultivar. Pasta colour was significantly impacted, as lightness values reduced with an increase in leaf powder. Fluted pumpkin inclusion decreased the gelation capacity of the flour blends but enhanced the water solubility, swelling power and oil absorption capacities of the products. Interestingly, the cooking time and gruel solid loss were reduced while the weight gain increased in the formulated pasta improved with the addition of fluted pumpkin leaf powder. The textural properties of the cassava pasta were enhanced as the hardness and pasting viscosities of the gel and pasta decreased by 12% with leaf powder inclusion. Pasting temperatures were also lower in the fluted pumpkin-fortified pasta than the gluten-laden wheat pasta. Furthermore, the yellow cassava products had significantly higher pasting viscosities than the white cassava products and cultivar variation had significant effects on the thermal properties of the food products. Overall acceptability and likelihood of purchase of the novel pasta were modest among the consumers. Our results showed that incorporating fluted pumpkin leaf powder in cassava pasta led to some improvements in the techno-functional and altered sensorial attributes.
- Fluted pumpkin