COMPARATIVE STUDY ON NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF SOME BRANDS OF POPCORN COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

COMPARATIVE STUDY ON NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF SOME BRANDS OF POPCORN COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study was therefore designed to determine and compare the nutritional contents of some commonly consumed brands of popcorn snacks in unprocessed (uncooked) form of the cereal. Processed popcorn samples were procured from vendors at a movie theatre, an amusement park and markets in Enugu and Nsukka. The samples were grouped as follows: Sample A was sweetened popcorn obtained from an amusement park in Enugu. Sample B was salted popcorn obtained from a movie theatre in Enugu. Sample C was salted popcorn obtained from a vendor in Nsukka main market. Sample D was sweetened popcorn obtained from a vendor in Nsukka main market. Sample E was sweetened popcorn obtained from a vendor in Nsukka main market. Sample F was unpopped (unprocessed) popcorn obtained from a vendor in Nsukka main market. All the samples were then pulverized using a grinder and later digested with aqua regia (Conc. HNO3 and HCl at ratio of 1:3 v/v). The concentrations of sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium ions, calorie and fiber contents, fructose, glucose and iodine contents were determined by classical methods. The results showed that the mean sodium ion (Na+) concentration in salted popcorn samples (samples B and C) were significantly (p < 0.05) higher when compared to the unprocessed sample (sample F). However, the sweetened popcorn samples (A, D and E) showed a non- significantly (p > 0.05) lower sodium ion (Na+) content when compared to the unprocessed sample. There was a non-significantly (p > 0.05) higher chloride ion (Cl-) concentration in salted popcorn samples (B and C) as well as in sweetened popcorn samples when compared to the unprocessed sample. Similarly, the mean chloride ion (Cl-) content of sample E was non-significantly (p > 0.05) loprwer than the unprocessed sample. Also, the mean concentrations of potassium ion (K+) contents of samples A, B, D, and E were non-significantly (p > 0.05) higher when compared to the unprocessed sample. The mean magnesium ion (Mg2+) content of sample D was significantly (p < 0.05) higher than in samples C and E. However, a non-significantly (p > 0.05) lower magnesium ion (Mg2+) contents were observed in samples A, B, C and E when compared to sample F. The mean fibre content in all the processed popcorn samples were significantly (p < 0.05) higher compared to that of unprocessed sample. The mean fructose and glucose concentrations were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in all the processed samples when compared to that of unprocessed sample. Similarly, the mean calorific values of all processed popcorn samples were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than that of unprocessed sample. It is therefore advised that the use of additives in processing of popcorn and the quantity to be consumed per time should be considered with caution.