Tostones (fried plantains) are consumed by a large segment of the Latin population in Florida. In addition, their use in specialty restaurants is on the increase. However, little is known about the microbial and nutritional quality of this product, particularly as affected by processing. Tostones are prepared by peeling and cutting the plantains into slices; soaking slices in a salt brine; frying, drying and flattening the slices; and refrying them until golden brown. Protein, ash, crude fiber and carbohydrate content increased during preparation as a result of moisture loss during processing. Fat content increased due to uptake during frying. Phosphorus, Na, Hg, Se and Zn content also increased, whereas that of K and Fe decreased. Changes in water activity and pH were not significantly pronounced. Bacillus and Penicillium species were the only organisms isolated from laboratory-prepared samples. The finished product contained 48.0% carbohydrate, 26.5% moisture, 21.5% fat, 2.5% protein, 1.0% ash, 0.5% crude fiber and 395 Kcal/100 g.

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Author notes

1Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations Journal Series No. 2333.