The increasing cost of animal protein has necessitated the need to investigate the use of cheaper and nutritive alternatives in various food formulations. The study was carried out to determine the appropriate level of soy flour inclusion in meatball production. The soy meat balls were formulated to contain 0%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% of full-fat soy flour which was combined with beef and some condiments. Treatments were analyzed in triplicates in a randomized complete block design. A 7-point hedonic scale was used to evaluate the sensory characteristics (colour, taste, texture and overall acceptance) of the products using a semi-trained taste panel. Nutrient proximate composition values and production cost were also determined. Results showed that on the average, soy flour inclusion in meatballs increased cooking yield by reducing weight loss from 27.33% to 12.96%. Meatballs with soy flour inclusions at 10% and 15% were most acceptable (very much liked). The 20% and 25% level of soy flour inclusion were moderately acceptable, thereby indicating acceptability up to 25% level of soy flour inclusion. Soy inclusion reduced production cost by N37.50 on the average at N5.00 per ball when compared with all meat products as well as, increasing the number of balls per mix from 64 balls (control) to an average number of 89.5 balls (soy meatball). It is recommended that further studies of the soy flour inclusion in meatballs production be carried out to ensure the availability of cheaper, nutritious and acceptable convenience food in the Nigerian market.
Meatballs, Sensory evaluation, Soy flour-meat
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