keywords: Natural coagulant, wara, chemical characteristics
The report here contained the analytical characteristics of the proximate and mineral evaluation of Nigerian local cheese popularly called wara prepared from the local extract coagulant from Calotropis procera. Analyses were on dry weight basis. The proximate values exhibited high levels of the following (g/100 g): crude fat, crude protein, crude fibre (probably from C. procera), dry matter, organic matter and total fatty acid (TFA) (converted from the crude fat) but low levels for carbohydrate, total ash and moisture content. Whereas total gross energy from crude fat + crude protein + carbohydrate was 404 kcal/100 g and 1718 kJ/100 g, corresponding TFA energy of 156 kcal/100 g and 643 kJ/100 g respectively were recorded. The UEDP% was moderately high at 19.6 – 19.8. Nutritional minerals of significance in the samples (mg/100 g) were: Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Ca, Mg, K, P all totalling 2039 mg/100 g. High percentage mineral levels were observed for Ca (10.7%), K (59.8%) and P (26.6%) with lowest coming from Cd (3.43 x 10-5%). Among the mineral ratios, Ca/Mg was the only ratio that was close to the ideal (6.07/6.67); the high ratios observed for the toxic minerals were advantageous. The calculated mineral safety index (MSI) was compared to the standard MSI, values showed that the MSIC < MSIT for all the minerals (Na, Mg, P, Ca, Fe, Se, Zn and Cu); percentage differences ranged from 10.1 (Fe) to 99.7 (Na). All the differences were positive towards MSIT meaning that none of the minerals in wara would be harmful to its consumer(s).