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In the Philippines, indigenous vegetables like 'alugbati' (Basella alba L.) can be utilized to address micronutrient deficiencies, such as vitamin A deficiency (VAD). This study aimed to develop fresh egg noodles with higher vitamin A content through the utilization of 'alugbati' leaves powder. Powder from 'alugbati' leaves was produced through dehydration of fully expanded leaves. The resultant powder was used to create three formulations of fresh egg noodles at 10%, 15%, and 20% substitution levels, with 100% wheat flour serving as the control. All formulations and the control were subjected to a water disintegration test and preference ranking test. The most preferred formulation was further evaluated for proximate composition, total carotenoid content (TCC), color, physical characteristics, and consumer acceptability. Data from triplicate experiments were statistically analyzed (p ≤ 0.05). Results showed that all samples were resistant to water disintegration (20 min in boiling water) and egg noodle with 15% substitution level was the most preferred. This sample had significantly higher ash (2.27 ± 0.28), fiber (1.77 ± 0.38), and protein (11.50 ± 0.11) contents than the control. A significantly higher TCC (1550 µg/g) compared to the control (610 µg/g) also signified that substituting with 'alugbati' leaves powder increased the vitamin A content of the noodles. From this, consuming 5-10 g of 'alugbati' egg noodles will be able to provide the vitamin A requirement of 400-800 µg retinol equivalent (RE). The egg noodles with a 15% substitution level also had a significantly darker green color and significantly lower elasticity. Moreover, this formulation was generally acceptable with mean Hedonic scores ranging from 7.20 (Like Moderately) to 7.80 (Like Very Much). This study demonstrated that fresh egg noodles with 'alugbati' leaves powder can be a good source of vitamin A. Clinical studies should be conducted to determine the role of the product in alleviating VAD especially in children and pregnant women.
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Keywords: ‘alugbati,’ egg noodles, vitamin A
Utilization of ‘Alugbati’ (Basella alba L.) Leaves Powder
to Increase Vitamin A Content of Fresh Egg Noodles
1Department of Food Science and Chemistry
2Department of Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies
3School of Management
University of the Philippines Mindanao, Mintal, Tugbok District, Davao City 8022 Philippines
*Corresponding Author: kacalumba@up.edu.ph
Pamela C. Soriano1, Rovi Gem E. Villame1, Kriza Faye A. Calumba1*, Juma Novie A. Alviola1,
Aileen Grace D. Delima2, Pedro A. Alviola IV3, and Emma Ruth V. Bayogan2
In the Philippines, indigenous vegetables like ‘alugbati’ (Basella alba L.) can be utilized to address
micronutrient deficiencies, such as vitamin A deficiency (VAD). This study aimed to develop fresh
egg noodles with higher vitamin A content through the utilization of ‘alugbati’ leaves powder. Powder
from ‘alugbati’ leaves was produced through dehydration of fully expanded leaves. The resultant
powder was used to create three formulations of fresh egg noodles at 10%, 15%, and 20% substitution
levels, with 100% wheat flour serving as the control. All formulations and the control were subjected
to a water disintegration test and preference ranking test. The most preferred formulation was
further evaluated for proximate composition, total carotenoid content (TCC), color, physical
characteristics, and consumer acceptability. Data from triplicate experiments were statistically
analyzed (p ≤ 0.05). Results showed that all samples were resistant to water disintegration (20 min
in boiling water) and egg noodle with 15% substitution level was the most preferred. This sample
had significantly higher ash (2.27 ± 0.28), fiber (1.77 ± 0.38), and protein (11.50 ± 0.11) contents than
the control. A significantly higher TCC (1550 µg/g) compared to the control (610 µg/g) also signified
that substituting with ‘alugbati’ leaves powder increased the vitamin A content of the noodles. From
this, consuming 5–10 g of ‘alugbati’ egg noodles will be able to provide the vitamin A requirement
of 400–800 µg retinol equivalent (RE). The egg noodles with a 15% substitution level also had a
significantly darker green color and significantly lower elasticity. Moreover, this formulation was
generally acceptable with mean Hedonic scores ranging from 7.20 (Like Moderately) to 7.80 (Like
Very Much). This study demonstrated that fresh egg noodles with ‘alugbati’ leaves powder can be a
good source of vitamin A. Clinical studies should be conducted to determine the role of the product
in alleviating VAD especially in children and pregnant women.
Philippine Journal of Science
149 (2): 273-281, June 2020
ISSN 0031 - 7683
Date Received: 11 Dec 2019
INTRODUCTION
Micronutrient deficiency is a state wherein the body
lacks the essential vitamins and minerals that are needed
for growth and development (Black 2003). This leads to
stunting, wasting, and other severe illnesses. The three
most common forms of malnutrition worldwide are iron
deficiency anemia, iodine deficiency disorder, and VAD.
VAD remains a public health issue among children and
pregnant women in underdeveloped and developing
countries (WHO 2017). In the Philippines, the quintennial
National Nutrition Survey conducted by the FNRI (2015a)
stated that the mortality rates caused by VAD have
273
declined over the years. However, the overall prevalence
rate of VAD increased from 5.9% in 2008 to 6.1% in 2013.
Among preschool children, VAD had 20.4% prevalence.
Several government and non-government organizations
and institutions continue to exert efforts in addressing
the issue of micronutrient deficiency. Aside from the
programs implemented to improve Filipino nutrition,
several product development studies were also conducted.
For instance, “Pancit Canton with Squash” and “Rice-
Mongo Curls” are made from locally available crops and
indigenous vegetables (FNRI 2019).
Indigenous vegetables are crops that originate from certain
geographical locations, including naturalized species
and/or evolved varieties (Oraye et al. 2017). These are
considered good sources of vitamins and minerals and
can diversify the Filipino diet by providing micronutrients
and fiber, leading to increased nutritional intake. However,
indigenous vegetables are generally underutilized due to
the lack of information about crop use and importance and
the negative notion that regards it as “food for the poor”
(FAO 2014). In the Philippines, some commonly used
indigenous vegetables include bitter gourd (‘ampalaya’),
squash (‘kalabasa’), and Malabar spinach (‘alugbati’).
‘Alugbati’ (Basella alba L.) is primarily utilized as food.
It also has medicinal value. The two varieties mainly
used in the country are red-stemmed and green-stemmed.
‘Alugbati’ is rich in saponins, xanthone, and other vitamins
and minerals. It is also regarded as a good source of vitamin
A. Tongco et al. (2015) reported that fresh ‘alugbati’ leaves
are relatively high in crude ash and crude protein, which
signifies that it has a high mineral content and can help
address protein energy malnutrition (PEM) in the country.
Thus, ‘alugbati’ can be utilized in food fortification and
enrichment in certain products, such as noodles.
Noodles can be used as carriers of nutrients through the
incorporation of plant-based or animal-based ingredients,
which can enhance the nutrient content and/or provide
specific physiological functions (Alemayehu et al.
2016). There are already existing products and studies
applying vegetables in noodles. However, the utilization of
‘alugbati’ leaves powder in the production of egg noodles
had not yet been explored.
This study generally aimed to utilize ‘alugbati’ leaves
powder in fresh egg noodles as a good source of vitamin
A. The specific objectives were to (1) characterize
the ‘alugbati’ leaves powder in terms of proximate
composition, TCC, and color; (2) determine the most
preferred formulation of fresh egg noodles with ‘alugbati’
leaves powder; (3) assess its proximate composition;
(4) evaluate its quality in terms of resistance to water
disintegration, vitamin A content, color, and physical
characteristics; and (5) assess its consumer acceptability.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Preparation of Powder from ‘Alugbati’ (Basella alba
L.) Leaves
‘Alugbati’ (green variety) was purchased from Mintal Public
Market, Davao City, Philippines. The powder was prepared
from the fully expanded leaves according to the methods
described by Alemayehu et al. (2016) and Chang and Wu
(2008) with modifications. The ‘alugbati’ leaves were
separated from the stem and then washed with tap water. The
leaves were placed on a tray and air-dried for 1–2 h, after which
they were dried in a food dehydrator (Ambiano, Australia) for
7 h at 70 ºC. The dried leaves were blended to a fine powder
using a blender (Blendtec, USA). The resulting powder was
transferred into a sealed plastic bag and stored in a cool, dry
place until use. The powder was partially characterized in terms
of proximate composition, TCC, and color.
Preparation of ‘Alugbati’ Egg Noodles
‘Alugbati’ egg noodles were prepared according to the
formulations described by Alemayehu et al. (2016) with
some modifications. The 10%, 15%, and 20% of the
wheat flour used was replaced with ‘alugbati’ leaves
powder. Noodles without ‘alugbati’ leaves powder were
also prepared as the control.
The wheat flour, ‘alugbati’ leaves powder, and salt were
sifted into a mixing bowl and a well was formed in the
center. The wet ingredients (egg yolk and water) were
then added into the well. The ingredients were mixed and
kneaded into a smooth dough, which was wrapped and
rested in a bowl for 1 h at ambient temperature (25 ºC).
The dough was rolled out into a thin, rectangular sheet using
a rolling pin. The rectangular dough was then passed through
the manual noodle cutter with the rollers consistently dusted
with flour. The width of the noodles was 2 mm. After cutting,
the noodles were set aside for 1 h (Lee 2014). These were
then boiled in 1000 mL tap water for 60 s and immediately
rinsed with cold water then drained. The noodles were stored
in a sealed plastic bag at 2–3 ºC until further use.
For the cooking quality, the doneness of the noodles was
determined through obtaining a single strip from the pot and
slicing the strip in the middle. The absence of any white spot
on the core of the noodle strip indicated that it was cooked.
This procedure was done thrice to ensure that the noodles
were cooked uniformly. The average cooking period was
then determined from the time obtained from three trials.
Resistance to Water Disintegration
The ‘alugbati’ egg noodle formulations including the
control were subjected to a water disintegration test
adapted and modified from Fishman et al. (1996). Noodle
Soriano et al.: Utilization of ‘Alugbati’ Leaves
Powder to Increase Vitamin A Content
Philippine Journal of Science
Vol. 149 No. 2, June 2020
274
strips were weighed (5 g each) and cut to a length of 5
cm. These were cooked in 100 mL distilled water at 100
ºC. The time required for the noodle strips to visually
disintegrate was determined. The noodle strips were
observed qualitatively during the test and those that
remained undissolved after 20 min were considered
resistant to water disintegration.
Preference Ranking Test
The four noodle formulations were separately cooked into
stir-fried noodles. Minced garlic (7 g) and 14 g chopped
onions were sautéed, then 64 g julienned carrots, 128 g
thinly sliced cabbage, and 4 g diced red bell pepper were
added along with 100 g diced chicken breast. Chicken
broth (238 mL) was poured and the mixture was allowed
to boil. The egg noodles (250 g) were then added. The
sauce mixture with 5 mL each of sesame oil, soy sauce,
and oyster sauce was incorporated in the mixture and the
noodles were allowed to cook for 3–5 min, after which salt
was added to taste. The stir-fried noodles were subjected
to a preference ranking test employing 50 untrained
panelists, which included students from 18–22 yr of
age who gave their consent to participate in the sensory
evaluation exercise. The panelists were asked to rank
the four samples based on their preference using a score
sheet with “1” as the most preferred and “4” as the least
preferred. In addition to ranking the products, the panelists
were also asked to qualitatively describe the noodles.
Proximate Analysis
The ‘alugbati’ leaves powder, most preferred ‘alugbati’
egg noodle formulation (boiled), and the control (boiled)
were subjected to proximate analysis. Samples were
analyzed for moisture (AOAC 925.10), ash (AOAC
923.03), fat (AOAC 920.39C), fiber (AOAC 984.04),
and protein (AOAC 984.14) content. The carbohydrate
content of the powder was calculated by difference (100
– Ash – Protein – Fat – Moisture).
TCC Analysis
The TCC of the powder and the egg noodle samples was
determined, employing the method of Sahabi et al. (2012).
From this, the TCC of the sample was calculated using
the equation from Wang and Liu (2009):
(1)
where A was the absorbance of the extract at 450 nm, y was
the volume of the extract (mL), was the extinction
coefficient of carotenoids, and w was the weight of the
sample (g).
In calculating the vitamin A content of the product in
terms of µg RE, the following conversion units were used:
1 RE = 1 µg retinol = 12 µg β-carotene
Color Analysis
The color of the ‘alugbati’ leaves powder as well as that
of the control and the most preferred formulation before
and after cooking was analyzed. The color analysis was
conducted using a colorimeter (Konica Minolta) and was
measured through the CIELAB color values in triplicate
readings. The color was expressed in three numerical
values: L* indicates lightness, where L* = 0 means
black and L* = 100 means white. The a* value signifies
redness (+) and greenness (–), while the b* value implies
yellowness (+) and blueness (–) (Khouryieh et al. 2006).
Chroma indicates the brightness, vividness, or intensity of
the color, while the hue angle describes the hue or intensity
of the samples. Hue angle and chroma were calculated
respectively according to the following equations (Levent
and Yesil 2019).
(2)
(3)
In analyzing the color of the egg noodles, “before
cooking” refers to the fresh egg noodles boiled for 60 s
prior to cooking, whereas “after cooking” refers to the
cooked fresh egg noodles boiled for 3–4 min.
Physical Characteristics Evaluation
The physical characteristics which include tensile strength
and elongation were evaluated using a texture analyzer
(Model EZ-SX, Shimadzu, Japan). In this analysis, the
noodle tensile jig was used. It conducts tension tests on
samples to assess their elasticity and breaking strength in
tension. The noodles were boiled for 1–3 min and then
blot dried prior to attachment in the tensile jig. A 10–20
cm noodle strip was obtained from each of the noodle
samples. It was looped through the slots and wound round
parallel friction rollers two or three times. This was done
to reduce any possibility of slippage and to anchor the
ends. The noodle strips were pulled apart until a break
in the extended region occurred (Smewing 2016). The
jig speed during the test was set at 1 mm/s. The noodles
were analyzed in triplicates at ambient temperature within
5 min after cooking.
Consumer Acceptability Test
The most preferred formulation of the ‘alugbati’ egg
noodles was subjected to a consumer acceptability test
Philippine Journal of Science
Vol. 149 No. 2, June 2020
Soriano et al.: Utilization of ‘Alugbati’ Leaves
Powder to Increase Vitamin A Content
275
against plain egg noodles (control). Both samples were
presented as stir-fried noodles. One hundred panelists who
gave their prior consent to participate in the consumer test
included children (38%) and adults (62%) with 45% of
the total respondents belonging to the age range of 19–29
years old. Using a nine-point Hedonic Scale, one hundred
panelists were asked to assess their degree of liking or
disliking using a scale of 1 (Dislike Extremely) to 9 (Like
Extremely). The panelists evaluated the acceptability
of the product in terms of appearance, texture, flavor,
and overall acceptability. In addition to determining the
product acceptability, the panelists were also asked to
give qualitative comments on the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles.
Statistical Analysis
Data from triplicate experiments were statistically
analyzed using the GNU PSPP 1.0.1-g818227 statistical
analysis software. Results from the preference ranking test
were analyzed using Friedman’s test. An independent t-test
was used to analyze results for proximate composition,
TCC, physical characteristics, and consumer acceptability.
Two-way analysis of variance was used to analyze color.
The statistical analyses were conducted at 0.05 level of
significance.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Properties of ‘Alugbati’ Leaves Powder
‘Alugbati’ leaves (Figure 1a) were used to obtain
‘alugbati’ leaves powder (Figure 1b) at a 15% recovery.
The proximate composition and TCC of the powder are
presented in Table 1. Results indicated that the powder
has a high protein content (21.38%), making it suitable for
addressing PEM. One study showed that dried ‘alugbati’
leaves were relatively high in protein (17.55%) (Tongco
et al. 2015), accounting for the corresponding high protein
content of the resultant powder obtained in this study. The
powder also exhibited a high ash content (16.17%), which
can be attributed to the presence of minerals like calcium,
magnesium, and iron in the vegetable. Moreover, the TCC
of the ‘alugbati’ leaves powder was found to be 11490 µg/g
(Table 1) corresponding to 957.50 µg RE/g. Based on the
Philippine Dietary Reference Intake tables for vitamins,
the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin
A ranges from 400–800 µg RE depending on the age group
and gender (FNRI 2015b). This suggests that the µg RE of
1 g ‘alugbati’ leaves powder from this study exceeds the
RDA for vitamin A by at least 20%. Hence, the ‘alugbati’
leaves powder can be utilized for vitamin A fortification
in certain products such as egg noodles.
In terms of color, the ‘alugbati’ leaves powder was
significantly darker (L* = 35.83) and had a greener
shade (a* = –81.00) than wheat flour (L* = 77.41; a* =
0.30). The CIELAB color chart shows yellow at 90º and
Figure 1. Fresh ‘alugbati’ leaves (A) and alugbati’ leaves powder prepared by dehydration (B).
Table 1. Proximate composition, TCC, and color of ‘alugbati’ leaves
powder.
Moisture content (%) 12.06 ± 0.36
Ash (%) 16.17 ± 0.28
Crude fat (%) 10.36 ± 0.44
Crude ber (%) 4.66 ± 0.45
Crude protein (%) 21.38 ± 1.58
Carbohydrate content* (%) 40.03
TCC (µg/g) 11490.00 ± 0.64
L* 35.83 ± 0.08
a* –81.00 ± 1.73
b* 3.49 ± 0.04
Hue angle 177.53 ± 0.02
Chroma 81.08 ± 1.73
Values are expressed as means ± SD, n = 3.
*Carbohydrate value was calculated by 100 – Ash – Protein – Fat – Moisture.
Soriano et al.: Utilization of ‘Alugbati’ Leaves
Powder to Increase Vitamin A Content
Philippine Journal of Science
Vol. 149 No. 2, June 2020
276
green at 180º. The calculated hue angle of the ‘alugbati’
leaves powder is 177.53º (Table 1), which means that
the powder retained the green color of the leaves. The
chroma of 81.08, on the other hand, means a vivid color.
Color from agricultural produce is derived from natural
pigments such as chlorophyll (green), carotenoids (yellow,
orange, and red), water-soluble anthocyanins (red, blue),
flavonoids (yellow), and betalains (red). However, these
pigments may change as the plant undergoes maturation,
ripening, and processing (Barrett et al. 2010). Noodle
quality, especially color, depends on the characteristics
of the corresponding flour as well as conditions during
noodle preparation (Levent and Yesil 2019).
Properties of Egg Noodles
Cooking quality. Three formulations of ‘alugbati’ egg
noodles were developed with 10%, 15%, and 20%
substitution levels, as shown in Figure 2. The average
cooking periods for the three formulations were 3 min
and 15 s, 3 min and 6 s, and 2 min and 35 s, respectively,
while the cooking time for the control was 3 min and 25 s.
These cooking times coincided with the estimated cooking
time for fresh egg noodles (3–4 min) as reported by Tecstra
Systems (2018). Fresh egg noodles usually cook faster
than dry durum wheat pasta, which usually takes 10–12
min. The cooking time required to cook noodles depends
on the type of noodles, whether it is fresh or dried, pre-
soaked or not (Lee 2014).
Resistance to water disintegration. Results showed that
all noodle samples were resistant to water disintegration.
Disintegration in this context signified the reduction of the
noodles into smaller particles. Noodles with disintegration
time exceeding 20 min are considered resistant to water
disintegration and, in this study, the noodle strips were
still intact after 20 min. Recent studies showed that aside
from gluten properties, wheat starch properties also
contribute to the wheat noodle structure (Collado and
Corke 2003). Starch solubility is also directly proportional
to temperature (Ahmad and Williams 1998). Noodles
that are resistant to water disintegration are a result of
satisfactory noodle production and are guaranteed to not
fall apart when overcooked.
Preference ranking test. Results from the preference
ranking test showed that noodles with 10% and 15%
substitution levels were similarly preferred and significantly
more preferred than the 20% substitution level and the
control (Table 2). Compared to the 10% substitution level,
a higher substitution level at 15% also signifies a higher
amount of ‘alugbati’ and consequently higher fortification
rate. Therefore, the formulation with a 15% substitution
level was selected for further evaluation. The panelists
also commented that despite the “unappealing” color of
the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles, this product was still preferred
over the control due to its “distinct flavor.” The control
was also described as “heavy and bland.”
Proximate analysis. The proximate composition data
for the noodles prepared with 15% substitution level and
the control are listed in Table 3. There was no significant
Figure 2. Egg noodles made with different substitution levels of
‘alugbati’ leaves powder, namely: (A) 10%, (B) 15%, (C)
20%, and (D) 0% (control).
Table 2. Preference ranking test results for the control sample and the
different ‘alugbati’ egg noodle formulations.
% ‘Alugbati’ leaves powder Rank sum
0 149b
10 110a
15 109a
20 132b
Rank sums not sharing the same letter are significantly different (p < 0.05); a
lower rank sum indicates a higher preference.
Table 3. Proximate composition, TCC, and RE of the egg noodles.
Composition
Egg noodles substituted
with 15% ‘alugbati’ leaves
powder (%)
Control (%)
Moisture (%) 64.65a ± 0.67 65.09a ± 0.11
Ash (%) 2.27b ± 0.28 1.40a ± 0.45
Fat (%) 8.95a ± 1.93 6.12a ± 1.25
Fiber (%) 1.77b ± 0.38 1.09a ± 0.08
Protein (%) 11.50b ± 0.11 10.42a ± 0.35
TCC (β-carotene)
(µg/g) 1550b ± 0.37 610a ± 0.10
RE (µg RE) 129.17b 50.83a
Values in the same row not sharing the same letters are significantly different
(p < 0.05).
Philippine Journal of Science
Vol. 149 No. 2, June 2020
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Powder to Increase Vitamin A Content
277
difference between the moisture content of the ‘alugbati’
egg noodles and the control which ranged from 64.65–
65.09%. Robertson (2016) explained that the moisture
content of fresh noodles is at least 24% and may increase
up to 50–60% when fresh noodles are partially boiled
for 1–2 min. The high moisture content of the noodles
suggests shorter shelf life than the dried counterpart, hence
the need for refrigeration.
‘Alugbati’ egg noodles at 15% substitution level exhibited
significantly higher values than the control for crude ash,
crude fiber, and crude protein. Crude ash in food samples
is an estimate of the total mineral content – including
calcium, magnesium, and iron. For plain egg noodles, the
maximum ash content is 1.3% (BPPA 2001). Although a
good source of energy, noodles have little to no mineral
content due to the losses that occur during processing.
Tongco et al. (2015) indicated that dried ‘alugbati’ leaves
contained high amounts of ash at 15%. This reported high
ash content of the leaves may have contributed to the
corresponding high ash content of the resultant powder
(16.17%), which was used in the egg noodles. According
to Mihiranie et al. (2017), all-purpose wheat flour has
0.49% ash compared to 16.17% ash in ‘alugbati’ leaves
powder, explaining why the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles had
significantly higher ash content than the control. For crude
fiber, the resulting values were within the standard fiber
content for noodles, ranging from 1–3% (Stephen 1997).
The ‘alugbati’ leaves powder was shown to increase the
fiber content of the fresh egg noodles. ‘Alugbati’ leaves
powder contains 4.66% crude fiber, which is higher than
the reported value of 0.51% for all-purpose wheat flour
(Mihiranie et al. 2017), accounting for the significantly
higher fiber content of the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles. For
crude protein, the results obtained were slightly lower than
the standard protein content for egg noodles, which is from
12–14% (Stephen 1997), as the heat-sensitive proteins
may have been denatured during boiling (Li et al. 2017).
According to the results, incorporation of ‘alugbati’ leaves
powder allowed for higher protein content of the noodles.
Comparing the protein content of all-purpose wheat flour
(9.57%) (Mihiranie et al. 2017) with that of ‘alugbati’
leaves powder (21.38%), the latter is higher, causing the
significantly higher protein of the egg noodles substituted
with 15% ‘alugbati’ leaves powder. Moreover, the standard
crude fat content of vegetable pasta or noodles ranges from
2%–5% (Stephen 1997). The slightly higher fat content
of both samples may be attributed to the addition of egg
yolks in the formulation.
TCC. The TCC of ‘alugbati’ egg noodles was significantly
higher than the control (Table 3). The incorporation of the
‘alugbati’ leaves powder increased the TCC by 54.19%.
‘Alugbati’ is considered to be a good source of vitamin
A, as 1158 IU of vitamin A can be acquired per 100 g of
cooked ‘alugbati’ (USDA 2016). Consuming 5–10 g of
the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles can help provide the required
RDA of vitamin A for children, lactating and pregnant
women, adults, and the elderly.
Vitamin A intakes are usually expressed as RE. The
carotenoids present in the sample were converted to
retinol, the active form of vitamin A. The most common
carotenoids with pro-vitamin A activity are α-carotene and
β-carotene; however, they are susceptible to degradation
through isomerization and oxidation, which usually
happen during cooking (Carvalho et al. 2014).
Color profile. There were significant differences in the
L*, a*, b*, hue angle, and chroma values of the ‘alugbati’
egg noodles and the control sample both before and after
cooking (Table 4). The use of ‘alugbati’ leaves powder
significantly lowered the yellowness and increased the
darkness and greenness of the noodles. This result was
expected since the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles had been
incorporated with ‘alugbati’ leaves powder, which is dark
green in color (refer to Figure 2B and 2D). This is further
shown in the hue angle values wherein the 177.23º of
the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles and 91.75º of the control are
close to the hue angles of green (180º) and yellow (90º),
respectively. Based on chroma, the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles
were more vivid or more color-saturated than the control.
Cooking also affected the color of the product. The color
of the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles and the control significantly
changed in L* and a* values after cooking. The control
noodles had higher hue angle and lower chroma values
after cooking, indicating a further shift from yellow and
Table 4. Color profile of the egg noodle samples before and after cooking.
%
‘Alugbati’
leaves
powder
Conditions
Before cooking After cooking
L* a* b* Hue angle Chroma L* a* b* Hue angle Chroma
15 35.89Ac
± 0.25
–66.00Ad
± 1.73
3.19Ac
± 0.23
177.23Bc ±
0.12
66.08Bc ±
1.74
38.33Ad
± 0.26
–100.32Ac
± 0.01
5.03Ac
± 0.14
177.13Bc
± 0.08
100.45Bd ±
0.02
069.03Bc
± 0.35
–0.47Bd
± 0.12
15.53Bc
± 0.75
91.75Ac ±
0.52
15.54Ad ±
0.75
70.34Bd
± 0.61
–0.99Bc
± 0.04
13.49Bc
± 0.43
94.20Ad ±
0.24
13.53Ac ±
0.43
ABValues in the same column not sharing the same letters are significantly different (p < 0.05); cdvalues in the same row not sharing the same letters are significantly
different (p < 0.05); before cooking refers to the fresh egg noodles boiled for 60 s prior to cooking; after cooking refers to the cooked fresh egg noodles boiled for 3–4 min.
Soriano et al.: Utilization of ‘Alugbati’ Leaves
Powder to Increase Vitamin A Content
Philippine Journal of Science
Vol. 149 No. 2, June 2020
278
the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles had high protein content but
the type of protein present did not have the visco-elastic
property of gluten, resulting in noodles with lower
elasticity (Ahmed et al. 2016).
Consumer acceptability. The ‘alugbati’ egg noodles
with a 15% substitution level were further subjected to
a consumer acceptability test against the control using
a nine-point Hedonic scale. There was no significant
difference in consumer acceptability between the two
samples in terms of appearance, texture, flavor, and overall
acceptability. The mean Hedonic scores of the ‘alugbati’
egg noodles ranged from 7.20–7.80 for all sensory
attributes, which means that the product was generally
acceptable and substitution with ‘alugbati’ leaves powder
did not significantly alter the sensory characteristics of the
egg noodles. Most of the panelists also found the ‘alugbati’
egg noodles “tasty and delicious” (Table 6). Comments
regarding the color of the product mostly consisted of
“unusual” and “unique.” While Asenstorfer et al. (2006)
explained that people prefer the shining or light-colored
yellow noodles than the dark-colored ones, which are
generally viewed as less attractive, this study showed no
significant difference in consumer acceptability in terms
of the appearance of both products.
Table 5. Physical characteristics of the egg noodle samples.
% ‘Alugbati’ leaves
powder
Tensile strength
(N)
Elongation
(mm)
15 0.015a ± 0.003 16.01a ± 3.060
0 0.021a ± 0.004 34.96b ± 1.352
Values in the same column not sharing the same letters are significantly different
(p < 0.05).
Table 6. Qualitative comments on the egg noodle samples.
Egg noodles substituted with
15% ‘alugbati’ leaves powder Control
Comment Number of panelists Comment Number of panelists
Tasty and delicious 9 Slightly bland 3
Evident ‘alugbati’ taste/aroma 3 Good taste 2
Good and balanced avor 2Good avor 1
Moderately good aroma 1 Heavy 1
Good texture 2 Good texture 1
Unusual and unique color/appearance 5 Overpowering oily texture 1
decreased color intensity. On the other hand, cooking
did not significantly affect the hue angle of the ‘alugbati’
egg noodles, preserving the greenness of the product.
Moreover, the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles had a more intense
color after 3–4 min of cooking. Measuring the color
of new food products developed is necessary as this
physical parameter directly affects the initial acceptance
of consumers (Cheng and Bhat 2016).
Physical characteristics. The ‘alugbati’ egg noodles were
also subjected to tensile strength and elongation tests and
compared to the control (Table 5). These tests were used
to measure elasticity and the distance to which a product
can be extended or stretched before breaking (SMS 2017).
Results showed that there was no significant difference
between the tensile strength of the two samples, signifying
that both samples needed the same amount of force to
break. However, it can be observed that the ‘alugbati’ egg
noodles had significantly lower elasticity as described by
lower elongation values compared to the control as the
former broke faster when stretched. This may have been
caused by the variation in the amounts of wheat flour
incorporated in the noodle samples. The gluten strength
of the wheat flour in the ‘alugbati’ egg noodle may have
been diluted due to the substitution with ‘alugbati’ leaves
powder. Substitution of wheat flour would render the
gluten matrix impaired, leading to a weakened noodle
texture (Ritthiruangdej et al. 2011). The sufficient
elasticity of the matrix is important for better processing
and eating properties of the final product. In this study,
CONCLUSION
The general objective of the present study was to develop
a product utilizing ‘alugbati’ leaves powder in fresh egg
noodles as a good source of vitamin A. The ‘alugbati’
leaves powder, which had a dark green color, was shown
to be relatively high in ash and crude protein. The high
RE of the powder also signified that it can be utilized
for vitamin A fortification. Results from the preference
ranking test on fresh egg noodles with ‘alugbati’ leaves
powder indicated that a substitution level of 15% was
the most preferred formulation. This was thus subjected
to further evaluation.
The ‘alugbati’ egg noodles with 15% substitution level
had significantly higher ash (2.27 ± 0.28), fiber (1.77 ±
0.38), and protein (11.50 ± 0.11) contents compared to the
Philippine Journal of Science
Vol. 149 No. 2, June 2020
Soriano et al.: Utilization of ‘Alugbati’ Leaves
Powder to Increase Vitamin A Content
279
control. This increase may be attributed to the nutrients
and minerals added by the ‘alugbati’ leaves powder in
the noodle composition. The noodles were also resistant
to water disintegration. Consuming the product can help
provide the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin
A especially for children, pregnant and lactating women,
and the elderly. Moreover, the ‘alugbati’ leaves powder
can be incorporated into other products that need fortifying
as it has a relatively high TCC.
The noodles with a 15% substitution level had significantly
darker, less yellow, greener, and more intense color. This
result was expected due to the incorporation of ‘alugbati’
leaves powder which had a dark green color. Results also
revealed that the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles had a significantly
lower elasticity (elongation = 16.01 mm) compared to the
control. Substitution with ‘alugbati’ leaves powder may
have weakened the gluten network, making the noodle
easy to break.
Furthermore, the ‘alugbati’ egg noodles were generally
acceptable in terms of appearance, texture, flavor, and
overall acceptability, and no significant difference from
the control was noted.
For future research, other products that can utilize the
other parts of the ‘alugbati’ plant (i.e. stems of the shoot
part) can be developed to prevent or reduce food waste.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This research was partly supported by the University of
the Philippines Mindanao 2017 In-house Research Grant.
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