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Plantain flour is the product of dried and pulverised plantain slices.
Plantain is rich in vitamins most especially Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and carotene and its low fat content makes it a delight for people suffering from cholesterol related ailments. Many diseases such as obesity, diabetics, gallstone, coronary heart and colon cancer have been linked to the consumption of refined and fibre depleted diets. Plantain has been listed as one of the major high fibre rich foods.
Also, plantain is relatively rich is protein (between 3.0 to 3.5%) compared to other fruits. Hence, it could be used in formulating protein supplement diets for both children and the adults. The low level of sodium in plantain also makes it a ready source of raw material for formulating low sodium diets.
MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT
The major machinery and equipment for production of plantain flour are: Dryer, Plantain slicer, Hammer mill with cyclone, Vibro sifter, Soaking tanks and packaging machine.
Production of Plantain flour includes the following simple unit operations:
This involves inspection of plantain fingers to identify and remove unsuitable ones i.e. spoilt, immature pulps e.t.c.
The sorted plantains are properly weighed to quantify input of the raw plantain.
The green plantain fruits are soaked in hot water for some minutes to soften the skin for easy peeling.
The plantain peels are removed manually using sharp knives to obtain the pulp.
The pulp is sliced with the aid of a mechanical slicer.
The sliced plantain is dried.
The dried plantain slices are milled in a hammer mill.
The flour is sieved to obtain the desire particle size.
The flour is packaged in moisture proof packaging material ready for sale.