Tiger nut is a tuber that is grown in the soil. It has a dimension ranging from 6-10 mm and occurs in different varieties. The colour is brown and has a sweet flavor when eaten. Tiger nut has been used extensively mainly for human consumption in Spain (Mason, 2008; Tiger nuts Traders, 2009). Tiger nuts are prepared and eaten cold as snacks. The milk can be extracted, treated and bottled. The flour is used to make cakes and biscuits and the oil is used for cooking (Wise, 2009). In United Kingdom, tiger nut is superb bait for carp fishing (Wise, 2009).
In Nigeria, the utilization of tiger nut is highly limited in spite of the fact that tiger nut is cultivated widely in the Northern part of the country. Tiger nuts are eaten raw mainly as snacks or fried and eaten mixed with roasted groundnuts (Abaejoh et al., 2006).
Kofi (1990) reported that sweetened tiger nut extract are bottled and sold in Ghana.
Recently, there is awareness for increased utilization of tiger nut (Belewu and Abodunrin, 2006; Belewu and Belewu, 2007; Ade-Omowaye et al., 2008; Ukwuru et al., 2008). Tiger nuts are valued for their highly nutritious starch content, dietary fibre and carbohydrate (Umene and Enebeli, 1997) and are rich in sucrose (17.4-20.0%), fat (25.5%), protein (8.0%) (Kordyias, 1990; Temple et al., 1990). Tiger nut is also rich in mineral content such as sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and traces of copper (Omode et al.,995; Oladele and Aina, 2007). The dietary fibre content of tiger nut is effective in the treatment and prevention of diseases such colon cancer, coronary heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and gastro-intestinal disorders (Anderson et al., 1994).
Tiger nut tubers are diuretic and can be used as stimulant and tonic (Chopral et al.1986) and in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, dysentery and excessive thirst (Chevalier, 1996). In addition, tiger nut has been demonstrated to contain higher essential amino acids than those proposed in the protein standard by FAO/WHO (1995) for satisfying adult needs for protein (Bosch and Alegna, 2005). Researchers have developed phyto milk of acceptable quality from tiger nut tubers (Abaejo et al., 2006; Ukwuru et al., 2008). Possible industrial application of tiger nut tubers has also been investigated (Oderinde and Tahir, 1988).
Tiger nut tubers can be processed in different ways to obtain different products. Pak. J. Nutr., 10 (2): 101-105, 2011-102. These products are of high nutritional values and Collins and Lyne (1979). The samples were serial economic potentials, hence deserve a greater attention diluted and an aliquot was plated in duplicate plates offhand it is currently given. As a crop that is grown widely in plate count agar for bacteria and potato dextrose agar for Nigeria, its availability is guaranteed. What are currently moulds. The plates were incubated at 37 C, 24 h and militating against the utilization of tiger nut is the little 25 C, 3 days for bacteria and moulds respectively. Awareness of the importance of this plant. The following Counts were carried out on plates containing 30-300 are possible derivatives of tiger nut: flour, milk, oil, cake, colonies using a colony counter and expressed as cream cheese, chocolate, biscuits, cookies, etc. The colony forming unit (cfu).objective of this research was to develop new products from tigernut tubers in other to increase the utilization of tiger nut.
1.1 LITERATURE REVIEW
Tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus var. sativa) as a plant, its derivatives/uses and benefits are mainly discussed. The hunt for lesser known and un-exploited crops, many of which are potentially valuable as human and animal foods has been on the high side now to retain the equilibrium between population growth and agricultural productivity, particularly in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Tiger nut is an underutilized crop of the family Cyperaceae, which produces rhizomes from the base and tubers that are somewhat spherical.
Pollination is by wind. Young tubers are white, while older tubers are covered by a yellow outer membrane; they are usually found within six inches of the ground surface. Vegetative colonies of its plants are often produced from the tubers and their rhizomes. They are usually preserved by sun drying for about three months before storage. It can be eaten raw, dried, roasted, or grated and can be subjected to further processing. Its uses in cooking and as fuel, baking flour, fish baits; milk in lieu of cow’s milk is outlined. Regarding the plant high percentage of carbohydrates (mono- and di-), fibre, and oil (especially oleic acid) and its moderately high level of protein, minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous), and vitamins C and E makes it a good source of food for humans and animals. It is a cheap source of nutrition for both the rich and the poor. The health benefits reflect reduction of low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, which is good for sports’ men and women and those intending to lose weight; it is also said to serve as a cure for flatulence and diarrhea, and as control against heart attacks, thrombosis and colon cancer, among others. The presence of anti-nutrients like polyphones and tannins can be eliminated by boiling in water. The tiger nut, though under-utilized, is still a good food snack for all. There is a need for awareness creation on tiger nut’s inherent nutritional properties.
The effects of Cyperus esculentus tuber oil based meal on the growth performance and its absorption in some selected organs (hearts, kidney, brain and liver) of rats were investigated.