Keywords: acha grains, chemical composition, Digitaria exilis, Digitaria iburua, physical properties, acha starch, kernel size, kernel weight, water absorption rate, commercial maize starch
Physicochemical properties of acha (Digitaria exilis and Digitaria iburua spp) grains
Some physicochemical properties of two varieties of acha (Digitaria exilis and Digitaria iburua) were studied. Physical properties including kernel size, 1000-kernel weight, and water absorption rate of the grains were determined. Water absorption reached a maximum after steeping for 25 hours. The starch content exhibited a two-stage pattern of swelling and solubility properties similar to other non-waxy cereal starches. Starch from Digitaria exilis swelled less than Digitaria iburua. Chemical compositions such as crude protein, lipid, crude fibre, ash, nitrogen-free extract (NFE) and amylose were also determined. Amylose contents of 268 g.kg−1 and 276 g.kg−1 were obtained for the white and brown varieties respectively. Data were analysed using analysis of variance. Duncan's test was used to separate the sample means that were significantly different. It was concluded that acha starch has properties similar to commercial maize starch and could be used for similar industrial purposes.