Defatted and undefatted cashew (Anacardium occidentale Linn.) kernel flours were produced and the effect of defatting on the proximate, mineral and functional properties was determined. It was ascertained that the proximate content of protein, crude fibre and carbohydrate (34.0, 6.2 and 32.2%, respectively) increased significantly in the defatted compared to undefatted cashew kernel flour. A decrease was observed in the moisture content, ether extract (crude fat) and total ash (4.4, 1.6 and 1.8%, respectively) of the defatted flour. There was significant difference (p<0.05) in all the analysed mineral elements between the defatted and the undefatted flours except manganese with significantly higher (p<0.05) value in the undefatted compared to the defatted sample (9.0 and 2.9mg/100g), respectively. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the bulk density, foam capacity/stability, emulsion capacity and nitrogen solubility at pH8.0 of the defatted and undefatted cashew kernel flours. A significant difference was observed between these two samples in the water/fat absorption capacity, emulsion stability and nitrogen solubility at pH8.0. The results obtained in this study indicate that defatted cashew kernel flour is a good source of protein and can be used to substitute wheat flour in snack production and formulation of children’s meals to reduce the importation of wheat flour into Nigeria. It can also be a useful source of low-fat fabricated foods as well as animal feeds.
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