The study examined the effect of drying compartment and maltodextrin concentration on the functional properties of Bambara groundnut milk powder (BGNMP). Bambara groundnut milk (BGNM) was prepared from Bambara groundnut (BGN) flour and water, further processed into BGNM and dried using the spray drying process. Total solids of BGNM were increased with 5, 10, and 15% of maltodextrin. Functional properties of BGNMP were analyzed. Water absorption indices (WAI), wettability, and water solubility indices (WSI) ranged from 0.19 to 0.45 g/g, 136.8 to 292.4 s, and 85.18 to 90.25%, respectively. BGNMP (10%) was significantly (p < .05) higher in WSI (88.80%) compared to BGNMP with 5% maltodextrin. BGNMP (10%) was significantly higher (p < .05) in WAI (0.40 g/g) compared to BGNMP with 15% maltodextrin. BGNMP samples color characteristics were significantly (p < .05) different with an acceptable color difference (ΔE). BGNMP (10%) had acceptable hydration properties over BGNMP (5%, 15%).
Bambara groundnut (BGN) is underutilized, stated to have little economic importance. However, recent studies have proven BGN to be promising in improving food security through research, resulting in food product (milk, yoghurt, fiber) development. Milk from BGN has been reported with acceptable physical attributes and comparable to existing plant milk. However, nothing has been reported on BGN milk powder (BGNMP). The development of BGNMP will promote the use of BGN. This will result in the social development of the country, by creating job opportunities for woman farmers and improve lives of individuals and providing gender empowerment. The success of this study will also provide food nutrition, security, and sustainability, as BGN is nutritious, widely, and readily available throughout Africa regions. Expanded utilization of BGN will encourage its production (harvesting) resulting in exporting of the material, improving the country's economy by opening up new and improved investment opportunities and new markets.