Cowpeas, also known as oloyin in Yoruba, are a favourite food among Nigerians, who eat them as a side dish, in soups and stews, and in a variety of other dishes. This is excellent news for Nigerians’ dietary wellbeing. They are a great source of protein, fiber, and minerals like copper, potassium, and magnesium that are good for human health, and are rich in nutrition. Moreover, beans are rich in antioxidants, which protect your body from free radicals that might cause cancer. As your purchasing cans or bags of the nutritional resource, remember that there may be hidden risks. One such risk is beetles, commonly referred to as Weevils, which are so tiny that you might not be able to see them. The brownish and black markings on the elytra or wing covers can be used to identify adults, which have bodies that range in length from 2mm to 5.4mm.
Due to the fact that mature Weevils house a bacterial colony in their stomachs, eating the bugs may induce stomach problems. When germs enter the human digestive system, they disrupt the normal equilibrium of bacteria. These bacterial imbalances have been connected to a variety of human health issues, including immunological and metabolic illnesses. The Weevils can ruin your dinner even if you don’t ingest them since they make beans deteriorate. Sadly, Nigeria has used hazardous chemicals to address this issue. Phostoxin, a pesticide with the trade names Aluminium Phosphide and Ammonium Carbonate, is extremely poisonous to people.
Freezing is a very good and efficient method of preservation.
Dried beans were once exported to Europe from Nigeria, until it was banned in 2013 by the European Union. Since then, attempts by the Nigerian government and farmers to have the ban lifted have been ineffective, and it is still in place. This is because large amounts of pesticide residue were found in packs of dry beans. The extremely deadly toxin is not eliminated by rinsing or boiling the beans, Nigerians must utilize safe methods to protect their crops from pests without using poisonous materials.
An agricultural entomologist who has studied the effects of pests on various crops suggested that some techniques can preserve food for up to a year, saving you time and money, without the increased health risks. Maintaining the freshness of perishable food products through freezing is a well-known preservation technique, it is an excellent method for protecting produce from pests. Simply place these items in a freezer bag and store it in the freezer. The freezing process will destroy any insects and eggs, and will keep it fresh.
Beans can be preserved and kept for later use using oil.
Drying the beans to a moisture content of less than 12% in a heat accumulator dryer is another method of preservation. Solar drying is also used and will be beneficial for people without access to equipment. The beans should be sun-dried for up to four hours at a time in thin layers. Infestations can be successfully managed with the help of solar warmers or transparent seed bags left in the sun. When small batches of seed are stored, using the sun drying strategy can manage infestations without impacting seed germination, as seeds also receive significant protection from sun drying.
Oil can be used to preserve beans and store them for later use, by adding them to hot oil. I should also mention that an organoleptic test has not yet been done to determine if the flavour changes when they are kept in oil. The evaluation of a food product’s flavour, aroma, appearance, and texture are known as organoleptic testing. Although there hasn’t been a rigorous taste test in a lab, people do use this technique to preserve beans.
Even after preservation they need to be checked thoroughly.
Regardless of the manner of storage, it’s still crucial to check your beans before cooking. To do this, one can sniff them or search for anything that doesn’t belong, or is out of place. The smell of the chemicals used to preserve them can occasionally be detected as well. Any chemicals will float to the surface of the water as an oil film, such beans should be thrown away because they are tainted and cleaning them won’t help.
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