CHEMICAL COMPOSITION, SHELF- LIFE AND ORGANOLEPTIC EVALUATION OF COMPLEMENTARY FOODS BASED ON ACHA (Digitaria exilis), BENNE SEED (Sesamum indicum) AND SOYBEAN (Glycine max)

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION, SHELF- LIFE AND ORGANOLEPTIC EVALUATION OF COMPLEMENTARY FOODS BASED ON ACHA (Digitaria exilis), BENNE SEED (Sesamum indicum) AND SOYBEAN (Glycine max)

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ABSTRACT

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  The study evaluated the chemical composition, nutrient adequacy, shelf life and organoleptic properties of complementary mixes based on “acha” (Digitaria exilis), benne seed (Sesamum indicum) and soybean (Glycine max). The staples (acha, benne seed and soybean) were purchased from Central Market Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria. Acha was fermented for 48hours and sundried for 2days, benne seed was washed and roasted with gas cooker on low heat at 80oC for 10 minutes and soybean boiled for 60 minutes at 100oC, fermented for 24 hours and roasted under low heat at 80oC for 10 minutes before milling separately into flours. The flours were combined at different ratios on protein basis to produce five complementary mixes namely D70S30 (acha70/benneseed30), D70G30 (acha70/soybean30), D70S15G15 (acha70/benneseed15/soybean15), D70S20G10 (acha70/benneseed20/soybean10 and D70S10G20 (acha70/benneseed10/soybean20). Each derived 70% of its dietary Nitrogen (N) from cereal (acha) and 30% from legume and or oil seed (soya been and or benne seed). The multi-mixes were analyzed for their nutrient, anti-nutrient and phytochemical composition before being used to prepare porridges. The nutrient content of the quantity of each porridge to be consumed daily by a child (6-24months old), who is breastfeeding was calculated and compared with recommended nutrient intake (RNI) for the age group. Nutritional adequacy of the porridges was assessed based on the percentage of the RNI met. Shelf life (keeping quality) of the complementary mixes was evaluated using free fatty acids (FFA), pH, water and microbial load for 60days. All analysis was done in triplicate using standard methods. The organoleptic properties the porridges made from the mixes were also evaluated. A commercial product (Nutrend) was used as control. A nine point hedonic scale was used to rate the organoleptic attributes of the porridges made from the mixes. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Duncan’s multiple range tests were used to separate and compare the means. Differences were considered significant at p<0.05. The carbohydrate value of the processed flours ranged from 19%/100g in benne seed to 80%/100g in acha, protein from 10.1% in acha to 41% in soya bean, fat from 2.6% in acha to 49.1%/100g in benne seed. The complementary flour mixes D70G30 had significantly (P<0.05) higher protein (19.3%/100g) than D70S10G20 (18.1 %,) D70S15G15 (17.2%/100g), D70S20G10 (16.9%/100g) and D70S30 (15.4%/100g). The energy content of all the flour mixes was above 400Kcal/100g. The folate values ranged from 94.3mcg in D70S30 to 108.7mcg/100g in D70G30, iron ranged from 11.3mg in D70G30 to 13.0mg/100g in D70S30; calcium ranged from 190.3mg/100g in D70G30 to 198.3mg/100g in D70S30. The D70S30 also had the highest zinc (7.3mg/100g) while the D70G30 had the least (3.2mg/100g). The nutrient content of the flour mixes were either comparable or higher than the control. The phytochemical compositions  of the complementary mixes showed that saponins ranged from 0.8mg in D70G30 to 2.0mg/100g in D70S30, flavonoids values were comparable (p>0.05) and tannins ranged from 0.4mg in D70S30 to 0.7mg/100g in D70G30). The anti-nutrient/toxicants of the flour mixes showed that oxalate were similar (p>0.05), phytate ranged from 2.3mg/100g in D70G30 to 2.7mg/100g in D70S30 and haemagglutinin values was in traces in D70S30 while D70G30, D70S15G15, D70S20G10 D70S10G20 had comparable (p>0.05) values (0.1HU/mg – 0.2HG/mg). These values were within safe levels (oxalate was 80– 120mg/day, phytate <301mg/100g, haemagglutinin (<25HU/mg). The porridges from the mixes met up 50 to 100% of the RNI for protein, folate, iron, and zinc for the age group but they did not for energy, fat, calcium, vitamin A and C. The D70S30 and D70S20G10 met more than 50% of the RNI for calcium and only D70S30 met up to 64% of the RNI for fat. The D70G30, D70S15G15, D70S20G10 and D70S10G20 had the highest organoleptic ratings in terms of colour (6.8), texture (7.9), flavour (6.5), and general acceptability (6.7). The D70S30 had the least total viable count (2.2× 103cfu/g), mould (2.5×102cfu/g), water activity (0.72), free fatty acid (0.7%) and pH (4.9) as compared to the other mixes after 60 days of storage. The study concluded that the formulated mixes had attributes of adequate complementary food but D70S30, had the best nutritional and keeping quality while D70G30 ranked highest in general acceptability attributes.


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the study

Breast milk is the ideal food for infants during the first six months of life.  This is because breast milk contains still-undiscovered substances that cannot be reproduced artificially and its overall nutrient composition is superior to any alternative, including infant formula (Srilakshmi, 2008). In spite of its superiority, breast milk alone is not able to provide sufficient amount of all the nutrients and calories needed to allow infants thrive after the first six months of life. As the child grows, the caloric and nutrient needs cannot be met by the diminishing output of mother’s milk or infant formula. If the baby is to maintain the expected rate of growth and remain healthy and well nourished, complementary food should be introduced at about the sixth month of life (WHO, 2001). The semi-solid food given to infants in addition to breast milk at about six months of age is called complementary food.  The main aim of complementary food is to fill the gap between the nutrient needs of the child and that contained in breast-milk. This transition period helps the child to slowly become accustomed to eating adult-type foods and familiarizes the child with a wide range of textures and tastes. The adequacy of complementary food not only depends on the availability of a variety of foods in the household, but also on the feeding practices of caregivers (WHO, 2005). Feeding young infants requires active care and stimulation, where the caregiver is responsive to the child clues for hunger and also encourages the child to eat. This practice is referred to as active or responsive feeding. WHO (2005) recommended that infants start receiving complementary foods at 6 months of age in addition to breast milk, initially 2-3 times a day between 6-8 months, increasing to 3-4 times daily between 9-11 months and 12-24 months with additional nutritious snacks offered 1-2 times per day, as desired.

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In 1979, a joint WHO/UNICEF expert consultation on Infant and Young Child Feeding recommended the promotion and support of appropriate and timely complementary feeding practices by using local food resources. In 2008, another WHO/UNICEF expert consultation recognized that the evidence for effective interventions to improve feeding in children 6-23months of age although has been strengthened considerably in recent years but evidence for what works to improve the utilization and intake of adequate complementary foods remains limited. They recommended among other things, increasing dietary diversity by using locally available nutritious food as an effective approach to improve the quality of young children’s diet. This is especially so for the poorest groups of the population who have no access to appropriately fortified food products and or cannot afford point- of use fortification or enrichment of the local diets (WHO/UNICEF, 2008).

Most infants begin the transition from liquid to solid foods with the introduction of commercial infant cereals, which when complemented with breast milk or formula can be a good starting place. In most developing countries however, the high cost of these nutritious complementary foods is always if not culturally prohibitive, or beyond the reach of most families. Such families often depend on inadequately processed traditional complementary foods consisting mainly of unsupplemented cereal porridges made from rice (Oryza sativa), wheat (Triticum spp.), maize (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and millet (Pennisetum americanum). In view of this, a number of cereals and legumes that are readily available in Nigeria have been found to have nutrients potentials that could complement one another if properly processed and blended (Fernan & Vanderiart, 1996). Such blends have been found to improve nutrient density and intake, thereby resulting in the prevention of nutritional problems (Nwamarah & Amadi, 2009). Some of these indigenous cereals for example fonio/acha (Digitaria exilis) and legumes such as sesame seed (Sesamum indicum) are still under exploited for use in complementary feeding. The improvement in infant nutrition using these locally available foods is desirable not only because of the positive impact on physical growth and development of the infant but to stem off malnutrition and its complications.

1.2       Statement of the problem

            Childhood undernutrition remains a major public health problem in resource-poor settings (WHO, 2003).  WHO (2011) estimates that 2 out of 5 children less  than five years of age in developing countries are stunted (low height-for-age), and large proportions are also deficient in one or more micronutrients. Globally, 30% (or 186 million) of children under five are estimated to be stunted and 18% (or 115 million) have low weight-for-height, mostly as a consequence of poor feeding and repeated infections, while 43 million are overweight. Few children receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods; in many countries only a third of breastfed infants 6-23 months of age meet the criteria of dietary diversity and feeding frequency that are appropriate for their age (UNICEF, 2008). It is well recognized that the period from birth to two years of age is the “critical window” for the promotion of optimal growth, health, and development. Insufficient quantities and inadequate quality of complementary foods, poor child-feeding practices and high rates of infections have a detrimental impact on health and growth in these important years (WHO, 1998). Even with optimum breastfeeding children will become malnourished if they do not receive sufficient quantities of quality complementary foods after six months of age (WHO, 2005). An estimated 6% or 600,000 under-five deaths can be prevented by ensuring optimal complementary feeding (WHO, 2011). Optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices can save the lives of 1.5 million children under five every year (WHO, 2010).

Low-quality complementary foods (plant based) combined with inappropriate feeding practices predispose children in developing countries (including Nigeria) to high risk for malnutrition and its associated outcomes (WHO, 2003). Studies have shown that, solid and semi-solid foods are introduced too soon or too late in some cases; also, the frequency and amount of food offered may be less than required for normal child growth, or their consistency or nutrient density may be inappropriate in relation to the child's needs.  Poor complementary food could displace the more nutritive breast milk in the child's diet, if complementary feeding is introduced before 6 months. Other problems associated with plant-based infant complementary food include bulkiness, low energy, low nutrient densities and monotony of the diets (Ibeanu, 2009).

 Low or poor quality protein content and monotony of traditional complementary foods are still problems to mothers who cannot afford to complement these traditional complementary foods with animal protein sources. Commercial complementary food enriched to meet infant’s nutrient requirements are expensive and out of the reach of the poor.

These problems compromise the health, growth and development of infants thereby predisposing them to Protein – Energy Malnutrition (PEM) and infections. Therefore there is need to explore ways of increasing the nutritional quality of cereals and legumes Infants and young children are very vulnerable to foodborne illness (Duyff, 2007).Their immune system are not developed enough to fight food borne infections, therefore Safe preparation and storage of complementary foods is very important. Hence there is need to process their food to ensure shelf life stability for future use.

Some indigenous legumes and cereals in Nigeria, which are cheap sources of plant protein are under exploited and rarely used for infant feeding.  Maize (Zea mays), rice (Oryza sativa), and in recent time wheat (Triticum spp.), soybean (Glycine max) and peanuts (Arachis hypogea) are widely used for complementary feeding, other cereals and legumes such as acha (Digitaria exilis), and benne seed (Sesamum indicium) are not commonly used in infant feeding. Thus as part of the attempts toward improving the nutritional quality of plant foods, the potentials of these underutilized staples to produce multi mixes for use in complementary feeding could be exploited as cheap and nutritionally adequate alternative to the monotonous maize or millet pap.

1.3       Objectives of the study

The general objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition, nutrient adequacy, shelf-life and organoleptic properties of formulated infant complementary food based on acha (Digitaria exilis), sesame seed (Sesamum indicum), and soybean (Glycine max).       The specific objectives of the study were to:

1.         determine the chemical composition (proximate, minerals, vitamins and photochemical) of processed flours from acha, benne seed and soybean; 

2.         formulate complementary mixes from the flours based on protein composition;

3.        assess the nutritional adequacy of the formulated complementary mixes;

4.         determine shelf life qualities (free fatty acids, pH, water activity and microbial activities of formulated complementary mixes) and

5.         assess the organoleptic properties of porridge prepared from formulated complementary mixes.

1.4       Significance of the study

The result of this study will be of use to mothers, Nutritionist, Dietitians, Food Scientists, Health educators, Doctors, Nurses, maternal and child workers, community health workers and other related professionals. The information in this study would be of benefit to mothers who desire to prepare nutritionally adequate diet for their infants using locally available staples. The information from the study could also be used by mothers or caregivers, Nutritionists, Dietitians and other health workers, to promote dietary diversity using locally available nutritious staples; hence add variety to infants’ diet. The result of the study might lead to the production of local instant pre-cooked and dehydrated infant complementary foods that will be familiar and easy for mothers and caregivers to reconstitute with boiled water. The result of the study would assist Nutritionist, Dietitians, Community and health workers and other related professionals to educate, counsel and offer clear guidelines to mothers and caregivers as a whole on how to provide adequate diets for infants from locally available food crops. It might also aid food scientist in their bid to develop instant infant food using such locally available grains. The shelf-life study can provide important information to product developers enabling them to ensure that the consumer will get a high quality product for a significant period of time after production.





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