Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) is a majestic tree associated with human habitation in some of the semi-arid regions of Africa and establishes an enormous economic and nutritional importance to the rural residential districts. The fruit pulp is considered to be of high nutritional significance; particularly vitamin C and calcium, also possess antioxidant functions as well as high dietary fiber content. Although it is a potential fruit for improving local diets and livelihoods,this fruit is underutilized and its potential not yet fully acknowledged. This work was contracted with the aim of defining the nutritional quality and functional properties of baobab pulp harvested from some selected parts of Tanzania. Results indicated that the pulp from the three locations had moisture content which ranged between 9.16% to 10.30%, fat 0.46%-1.98%, ash 4.75%-5.21%, fiber 5.91%-9.65%, protein 3.23%-3.53%, carbohydrate 80.49%-85.19, vitamin C 169.74mg/100g-231.57mg/100g, beta-carotene 2.16 mg/100g-3.19mg/100g.Fructose 0.56±0.15-0.81±0.17g/100g, glucose 0.77±0.26-0.87±0.31g/100g and sucrose 0.75±0.25-0.84±0.29g/100g. The substantial differences (p≤ 0.05) between locations were observed in fat, crude fiber, carbohydrates, and fructose. Vitamin C, beta-carotene, protein, ash, moisture, sucrose and glucose showed no significance difference (p≤ 0.05) among locations. The functional properties included emulsification, foaming and gelling properties which ranged between 37.9-45.15%, 1.85-6.57% and 11-12% respectively and were significantly different (p≤ 0.05) among locations. The results show that baobab pulp has a good content of nutrients and functional properties which can be useful in food industries.
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RUFORUM Journal Articles