Cissus Populnea & Irvingia Gabonensis : Comparative Study On Acceptability As Soup Thickner

Cissus Populnea & Irvingia Gabonensis : Comparative Study On Acceptability As Soup Thickner

The plant Cissus Populnea belongs to the family Amplidacea (Vitaceae) the plant is 2 to 3m high semi-circular which grows in the savannah and is widely distributed in Senegal, Sudan, Uganda, Abyssinia and Nigeria (Hutchinson and Daniel, 1958). It is commonly known as ‘okoho’ by the Idoma’s, Igbo and Igala tribes of Nigeria, ‘Dafara’ (Kano, Zaria); ‘Latutuwa’ (Katsina) by the Hausa language of the indicated towns of Northern Nigeria (Gbile, 1980); ‘Ajara’ or ‘Orogboro’ by the Yoruba tribes of Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria (Ibrahim et al 2011).

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The plant Cissus populnea is also called food gum (Alkali et al 2009). The gum is used for soup and as soup thickener. It is also widely used as medicine for the treatment of general diseases and indigestion and as a drug binder (Iwe and Atta, 1993). Ethno-medicinal uses include treatment of sore breast, intestinal parasites, oedema and eye problems resulting from attack from black cobra and as laxative or purgative (Ibrahim et al 2011).

Cissus populnea is a plant associated with a myriad of medicinal uses in different parts of the world. Its extracts have been credited with antibacterial properties as components of a herbal antisickling Nigeria Formula (Moody et al; 2003). In Benin Republic, it is used for its diuretic properties while in Ghana it is used as a post-harvest ethno botanical protectant (Belmamin et al 2000).

The aqueous extract of its stem back is associated with aphrodisiac. Fertility potentials among the Yoruba speaking peoples of the South West Nigeria, where it is observed that men consume the aqueous and ethanoic extracts copiously and consistently. For long periods of time either in mono or polyherbal formulations (Ojakele et al; 2006). However, very little is known about the rheological characteristics of cissus populnea.

Irvinga gabonensis is a non-timber forest product, made up of tree trunk (stem), leaves, roots and fruits, the fruit comprises a fleshy part and nut, which consists of a hard shell and the seed. Its seeds have an outer brown testa (hull) and two white cotyledons. It belongs to genus irvingia, species, irvingia gabonesis. Two varieties have been identified in Nigeria; var gabonesis and var excels (Okafor and Ujor, 1994).

IrvingIa gabonesis common names are bush mango, Africa mango, wild mango or dika nut plant and the local name is kuwing (Agoi). Irvingia seeds constitute an important part of the rural diet in Nigeria. The sun-dried seeds are grounded into flour and used as soup thickeners. The white cotyledons are roasted and eaten in the Bwemba community of Uganda; roasted seeds confer flavor and aroma and foods especially vegetables (Ousseynou and Nicodeme, 1994). It is the food gum component of the seeds that serves as thickening agent in water (especially hot water) (Bray, 1985). Seeds are a prominent feature in the peasant dietary especially in the developing countries and oilseeds are becoming valuable sources of nutrients for man, especially in countries where the diet is plant-based. Ignorance of their food value has resulted in their wastage in terms of economic returns and post harvest loses. (Harris, 1991).

Report on this seed nutrients content indicated that it contains 8.65% protein, 14.1% carbohydrates, 2.1% moisture, 1.4% fibre, 16.8% and 38.9% dietry fibre (Ndjouerkeu et al; 1996).


To compare and evaluate the acceptability of Cissus populnea (okoho) and Irvingia gabonensis (ogbono) in Ebonyi state.
To compare the rheological properties of Irvingia gabonensis (ogbono) and Cissus populnea (okoho).



Origin and distribution of Cissus populnea
The origin of cissus populnea can be traced to the tropical parts of Africa and has been widely spread through the tropics. It is readily found almost in every forest area of tropical Nigeria especially the middle belt area (Benue state and Nassarawa state) most of the plants grow wildly while some are cultivated. The stem of cissus populnea is the major source of gum, although the roots also exudes gum (Chukwu and Okpala Zima, 1989) cissus root gum has been used as binder in preparation of tablets of medicine (Smith 1959), the basis for the formation and exudation of gum in cissus populnea is still not understood, and many theories have been formulated to explain these phenomenon, hypothesis suggests that the formation of gums in cissus populnea is a protective mechanism resulting from pathological condition and is supported by evidence concerning the production of gum acacia (Glicksman, 1982).
The formation of gums has also been attributed to fungi attacking the cissus populnea plant and releasing enzymes that penetrates the tissues and transforms the constituent cellulose materials of the cell wall into gum (Chukwu and Okpalalzima, 1989).
Biochemical composition of cissus populnea
Iwe and Attah (1993) analyzed the gum powder of cissus populnea through some procedures and obtained the following compositions in accordance to official method (AOAC, 1984). Cissus gum contains 11±0.8% moisture, 3±0.7% crude protein, 2±0.0% ash. Other constituents include 3V0.3% crude fibre and 79V0.0% carbohydrate. From the analysis, it is clearly observed that the cissus populnea plant can be a source of carbohydrate food.
Physical Properties of Cissus populnea
Notable differences still exists in gum from the same species when collected from plants growing under climate conditions or even from the same plant at different seasons of the year and probably parts of the plant (Whisler, 1959).
Texture: There are variations in terms of hardness of gums but since this is usually dependent upon the amount of moisture present, it cannot be used as a means of classification as with minerals.
Density: Density of cissus populnea also varies and is dependent upon the volume of air trapped when the gum is formed (Chukwu and Okpalalzima 1989). It has to be noted that the physical properties of cissus gum and related polysaccharides depends not so much on the actual building units as upon the overall molecular architecture of the complex polysaccharides (Smith, 1959).

Colour: There are also colour variations among cissus populnea in the natural exudates. This varies from almost colourless through shades of yellow, orange to dark-brown, brownish or black, amber gums (Smith, 1959). Cissus populnea stem has an ash coloured back and the stem colour rages from milk white to brown. It is brown in the form of gum powder. According to Glicksman (1982), tamnis from sap or tissues of the parent plants are frequently the cause of discolouration in cissus gum and are believed to account for some dark gums yielded by the plant.

Shapes: The age of exudes, treatment of cissus after collection, such as washing, drying, sun-bleaching and storage temperatures can severely affect the physical properties of cissus populnea gum (Chukwu and Okpalalzima, 1987) Natural gums are exuded in a variety of shapes and forms as globe or tar drop, flakes, or thread-like ribes etc. the surface of cissus gum is smooth when fresh but may become rough or with striations upon weathering, resulting in opaque appearance (Chukwu and Okpalazima, 1989). Cissus has a regular shape in form of straight long stems, which could be cut into desired lengths for sale or domestic consumption.
Chemical Properties of Cissus populnea
Reports by Smith (1959) indicated that gums in general have some chemical reactivity and reaction with many reagents such as fertility solutions, potassium silicate, basic acetate, borax and so on. In most cases, gums are insoluble in water, on the general note, solubility of cissus populnea are insoluble in water, increases with temperature. Although cissus gums are very soluble in water, finely divided colloid particles tend to chump when dispersed in water and do not dissolve readily unless vigorous agitation is used, the more complex methods of increasing the Christianson and Ramstand as reported by Kome (1998). This involves bringing their moisture content of 10-15% up to 30-60% mixing thoroughly, drying at room temperature and then selecting the 40/100 – messh fractions, which readily dispersed to form a fast solution with minimum of clumping. The solubility of gum is also improved by freeze-drying and spray-drying (Wilbur, 1983).

2.4 Functional Properties of Cissus Populnea
The main functional properties are those physiochemical properties of food substances that determine their behavior in foods during processing. Those properties and the manner in which proteins interact with each other components directly or indirectly affect processing applications. Food quality and ultimately acceptance (Kinsella et a; 1985) some of these functional properties include Bulk D. O forum capacity, least gelation capacity, viscosity, water & oil absorption.
Functionality in gums involves the ability of the gums to immobilize water (Kenny, 1982) the structural effect is measured as viscosity if the association between water and gum is involved, whether the objective is to thicken, gel, emulsify, suspend, encapsulate, stabilize, foam or control crystallization (Kenny, 1983).
Another cause of instability is due to p. H. gum with high carboxyl groups are mostly affected (Smith, 1959). Instability, salt tend to remove the absorbed solvent molecules. From the natural polysaccharides molecules and thereby reduce viscosity and solubility sometimes to the extent that precipitation occurs said to be due to the infirmity of their ions for water.
In many food-processing operations, it is essential to know the viscosity of the fluid being processed. Measurement of viscosity is often very important for quality control, particularly on products that we expect to be a particular consistency (Lewis, 1987).
Viscosity can be simply defined as the internal friction activity within a fluid i.e. its resistance to flow. A fluid in a glass, when inverted is subjected to gravitational forces; some fluids will flow easily out of the glass, some with difficulty and some not at all. Viscosity is also measurement of the rate of flow (Bourne, 1982).
Concentration also affects viscosity, viscosity increases with increase in gum concentration (Rao and Anantheswaren, 1982).
Viscosity is also affected by aging. This is probably due to bacteria Growth (Osborne and Lee, 1950), investigated this effects by using preserved and unpreserved acacia mucilage, there was a substantially greater decrease of viscosity in an unpreserved 17.5% mucilage than there was in that preserved with 0.2% benzoic acid (Whistler, 1980).
The function of food gums in general is to control rheological properties in the food product. They improve or manipulate the texture of food products because of their ability to retard flow, modify gelling characteristics and preserve emulsion and suspension (Glickman, 1979).
Bulk Density
When mixing, transporting, storing or packaging particulate matter, it is important to know the properties of the bulk materials. When such solids are powdered into a container the total volume occupied will contain a substantial portion of air. The porosity of the material in addition, if this container is tapped the total volume and hence the porosity will decrease, until eventually the system reaches an equilibrium volume, the density of the bulk materials under this conditions is generally known as the bulk density of the material will depend upon a number factors, namely the solid density, the geometry, the size, the surface properties and the method of measurement normally bulk density is determined by placing a known weight into a cylinder a fixed number of times and determining the resulting bulk volume (Lewis, 1987).
Foaming Capacity
A foam is defined as two phase system consisting of a mass of a gas bubbles dispersed in a liquid or solid (Glicksman, 1982) with the bubbles being separated from each other by thin films of liquid or solid.
The foaming capacity of a solution was been measured in terms of the volume of foam produced under fixed aeration or agitation conditions, or the stability of the foam by measuring the amount drained in a given time. As with emulsification, such tests are empirical in nature but are useful for assessing new materials or making comparisons between foaming agents (Lewis, 1987).
Griffin (1979) defined emulsification as a two phase system consisting immiscible liquid one being dispersed as finite globules within the other, the globules known as the internal, dispersed or discontinuous phase is distributed throughout the surrounding liquid known as the continuous or external phase.
According to Glicksman (1982), there are two types of emulsions of importance to the food scientist; these include oil in –water (O/W) types in which the oil phase is dispersed in small droplets throughout the water phase, and the water- in- oil (W/O) systems in which the water is dispersed in small droplets throughout the oil phase.

Water Absorption Capacity
This is a measure of how much water is held by a precipitate or solid material in the presence of excess solvent. It is often measured in products as meat (Regenstein, 1984) when excess water is added to a food product or ingredient, some of the water will be immobilized i.e. it will be apparent as free water the amount of water absorbed in the way is functional property of food or ingredients as well as being related to other functional properties such as solubility, viscosity and gelation (Snyder and Kwon, 1987).
Utilization of Food Gums
Food gums are widely utilized in several ways for different purposes, although very few have some limitations. Some f the various ways of gum utilization includes:

Laxative and anti-diarrhea Activity
Some food gums have laxative and anti-diarrhea activity mainly due to their dietary fibre content (Fungi and Feston, 1979) Bran the best, studied dietary fibre in recent years has its laxative effect attributed to its pentosan content (Cumming et al, 1978).
Pharmaceutical Application
Some gums are applied in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products as building agent and stabilizers (Meyer, 1959). Guava gums can cause a reduction of 40.50% urinary glucose excretion – diabetes (Glicksman, 1982).
Diverticular Diseases
Other food gums with higher fibre content lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cholesterol level (Maltistra, 1967); the symptoms of diverticuar diseases are alleviated by increasing intakes of dietary fibre.

Rheological Properties
A rheological property is the science of flow and deformation of materials under pressure. It basically, involves the characterization of the deformation and flow that develops when materials are stressed (Toledo, 1980) white (1970), has it that rheology is the study of deformation and flow of matter.

In food industry, characterization of operations involving the processing and transportation of foods, but also in terms of defining set of parameters used as quality index can be objectively determined (Toledo, 1980).

The science of rheology has many application on food n in the field of food acceptability, food processing and handling a number of food processing operations depend heavily upon rheological properties of the product at an intermediate stage of manufacture because this has a profound effect upon the quality of the finished product (Wooflife, et el; 1977) Rad and Arantheswaran (1982)has dealt extensively on how essential the knowledge of rheological properties of fluids foods is in the design and analyzing of unit operations in food processing. For fluid foods, viscosity is widely used rheological parameter and its relationship with shear rate has been used to classify food into Newtonian and non-Newtonian with distinguished subclasses, such as plasticity, pseudoplastic, dialtart, Bingham and Binghamy pseudoplastic (Sopade and Kassum, 1992), these are all important quality factors in foods and the study of these properties is part of the science rheology.

A wide variety of foods such as butter, margarine, applesauce, tomato carsup, mayonnaise, peanut butter and many puddlings are either plastic or pseudoplastics in nature. They are required to spread and flow easily under a small force, but to hold their shape when not subjected to any external force other than gravity. The relationship between the stress (t) required to induce a given rate of shear (dv/dr) defines the rheological behavior of a fluid. For a Newtonian fluid, the shear stress is directly proportional to the rate of shear (Toledo, 1979) the proportionality constant is the viscosity. The equation is tadv/dr. t=µdv/dr……(1)
Newtonian’s law of viscosity
Where t = shear rate
µ= constant of proportionality which is viscosity
dv/dr= shear rate
The viscosity can only be correctly applied to such fluids where the shear stress required to induce flow is directly proportional to the rate of shear. For fluids that deviate from this behavior, the term ‘‘apparent viscosity’’ is used as an index of fluid consistency.
Instruments used for measuring the flow characteristics of fluid are called viscometers, the simpler viscometers are used to determine the viscosity of Newtonian fluid or apparent viscosity of non Newtonian fluids more complex viscosities are required when resistance to flow under varying rates of shear as determined and these viscometers are used to evaluate rheological properties of non-Newtonian fluids (Toledo, 1980) curves representing the relationship between the shear stress required to induce flow and the rate of shear (rheological behavior) is shown in appendix I for various types of flow behaviors.
The mathematical models representing the relationship between shear stress and the rate of shear (dv/dr or s) for various curves for non-Newtonian fluids are as follows:
Bingham: t=k(dv/dr) + C………..(2)
Pseudoplastic: t=K(dv/dr) where n >1
Dialatant: t=K(dv/dr) n+C where n >1
Bingham – pseudoplastic: t=K(dv/dr) +C where n <1-
Equations (2) to (5) are used to formulate equations for predicting fluid flow behavior, the constant k is the fluid consistency index, n is the flow behavior index, c is initiated. Equations (3) to (5) are often referred to as the power law model of fluid and fluids which follow this behavior are called power law fluids, (Steffe et al; 1983).
Factors Affecting Viscosity in Cissus Populnea
Kome (1992) project work has it that viscosity of cissus populnea is affected by concentration, p.H and temperature.
p.H: the term p.H is the symbol for hydrogen ion concentration, the hydrogen ion concentration of cissus populnea is a controlling factor in regulating many chemical and microbiology reactions. A sever work done by Kome (1998 revealed that the mucilage of cissus populnea shows rapid increase in viscosity with concentrate of the viscous plant solution or dispersion. She reported that there is maximum viscosity in neutral p.H range that is increase from the acid regions, gets maximum at p.H of 7 and decrease again.
Concentration: Tiu and Bager (1974) reported that viscosity of fluid food in general increase with concentration in cissus populnea also viscosity increase as the concentration does and this is due to presence of more molecules of gum in the mucilage as concentration becomes higher.
Temperature: Usually viscosity of materials decrease with increase in temperature as contained in the works of Alkali et al (2003), Ariahu et al (2001) and many other – but the behavior of cissus show a reverse trend between the degree of 200 C to 700 C viscosity is seen to increase in temperature before its boiling point which is 700C and decrease after the boiling point is exceeded.
In simple Newtonian fluids, the rate of flow or shear rate is related to the applied shear stress(t).
t=µr ……………….(6)
Where µ = viscosity
For most materials deviation Newtonian behavior are not uncommon and such materials are termed non Newtonian fluids. Assuming on plastic behavior the shear stress = shear rate relationship approximated by the power equation.
T = krn …………………(7)
Where k = consistency (viscosity) index
N = power – law index
In terms of the apparent viscosity, µapp, equation (7) becomes µapp = krn n ≠1 ————-(8) this implies that a log – log plot of µapp against gives a straight line slop, (n-1) and intercept k, from which both the power – law and consistency indices can be obtained respectively. Finney (1976) observed that n = 1 in Newtonian fluids the main application of the power – law model is its simplicity; the viscosity of a food is temperature dependent with the viscosity decreasing as temperature increases. For many fluids, the change in viscosity (or consistency index) as function of temperature may be represented over quite extensive temperature range by Arrhenius equation.
µ= µ0 exp (-Ea/RT)
or k = Ko exp(Ea/RT)…………………….(9)
Where µ0 or Ko = apparent viscosity (or consistency) at universal gas constant and T = absolute temperature. From a semi-plot of K against 1/T, the activation energy can be obtained and the sensitivity of viscosity or consistency index to temperature assessed (Sopade and Kassum, 1992).
Viscosity can be used to determine whether flow pattern is a laminar flow is a stream- line flow and a turbulent flow is a fluid flow in which the viscosity varies erratically in magnitude and direction (Malcon, 1982). According to Toledo (1980), the formula
Re = DVP/µ………………(11)
Re = Reynolds number (a dimension less number or quantity used as are index of turbulent or laminar flow.
D = tube diameter
V = average velocity
P = density of the fluid
µ = viscosity
For values of Reynolds number below 2300, the flow laminar and for values above 2,300 it is turbulent.


For centuries, tribesmen from the villages of Nigeria and Cameroon in West Africa have been using seeds of Irvinga gabonensis, also known as Africa mango, for its potent health benefits. The African mango,an exotic brightly colored tropical fruits, differs from other mangoes because it produces a particular seed which the natives of Cameroon call the dika nut.
The irvinga kernels form an important part of the West and Central African diet, providing fat and protein. African mango seeds are ground into past and most restaurants in Nigeria. Native medical treatments made use of the bark, leaves, roots and kernels of African mango tree formultitude of health ailments. The bark was known to have antibiotric qualities and was used to heal skin abrasions and to produce a remedy for tooth aches when boiled. When ingested orally, shavings from the ste bark have been used to treat hyena, dysentery and even yellow fever. The juice of the fruit is made into a wine that attains 8% alcohol content when left ferment for 28 days.

5.1 Conclusion
In the course of this study, result on sensory taste conducted showed that the acceptability of Cissus populnea (okoho) in Abakaliki (Ebonyi state) is overwhelming. Data collected on colour, taste, flavor, mouth feel and general acceptability has reviewed that Cisuss populnea (okoho) can equally be used in place of Irvingia gabonensis (ogbono) as a soup or thicker. It was also observed that Cissus populnea (okoho) is equally very viscous. Both viscosities of cissus populnea (okoho) and Irvingia gabonensis (ogbono) were observed affected by temperature and shear rate.
5.2 Recommendation
I therefore wish to recommend the use of Cissus populnea (okoho) as a soup or thickener should be encouraged in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state to break the monopoly on Irvingia gabonensis (ogbono).

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