The work determined the quality of noodles produced from wheat, unripe banana and cowpea flour blends. Flour blends were produced from wheat, cowpea and unripe banana flour at the ratios of 100:0:0, 80:10:10, 70:10:20, 60:10:30, 50:10:40 (wheat: unripe banana: cowpea). Noodles were prepared from the flour blends and evaluated for the chemical composition, color, cooking characteristics and sensory properties. Noodles from 100% wheat flour served as control. The cowpea flour contained higher amount of protein while the unripe banana flour and wheat flour had higher levels of carbohydrate than the cowpea flour. The wheat flour had higher sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous contents than the other flours, which were closely followed by those of the unripe banana flour. The moisture contents of the noodles varied from 9.15-11.25%. The ash contents of the noodles ranged between 1.03 and 1.80%.The crude fiber, fat and carbohydrate contents of the noodles increased with the level of cowpea flour in the noodles. The energy contents of the noodles ranged from 383.39-422.31Kcal/100g. The cooking time decreased from 10.50 min in wheat flour noodles to 7.50 min in the noodle containing 40% cowpea flour. However, the cooking loss and weight increased as the amount of cowpea flour in the noodles increased. The wheat flour noodles were rated higher for color, taste and overall acceptability but not for flavor and mouthfeel. The score for overall acceptability of the wheat flour noodle was 8.60 while those of the composite flour noodles containing 10 and 20% cowpea flour were 8.15 respectively on 9-point Hedonic scale. It is concluded that noodles could be produced from 70% wheat, 20% cowpea and 10% unripe banana flour blends without affecting the qualities of the noodles.
Keywords : Unripe banana, cowpea, wheat, flour, noodles, cooking characteristics, nutritional and sensory properties.