Nutrient density of complementary foods formulated from a blend of teff, soybean and orange-fleshed sweet potato

Both protein-energy malnutrition and micronutrient malnutrition are highly prevalent among infants and children in poor community settings in the developing world, especially the Sub-Saharan African countries. One of the food-based approaches, food-to-food fortification, is now considered to be a good alternative for tackling this problem in a sustainable manner. In addition to breast milk, infants should be provided with energy– and nutrient-dense complementary foods from around the age of six month. In this study, teff, soybean and orange-fleshed sweet potato were separately processed into their respective flours and blended in a percentage ratio of 70:20:10, respectively, to prepare household- and industrial-level complementary foods (CFs). The developed CFs were analyzed for their protein, fat, energy, vitamin A, calcium, iron and zinc contents. Energy and nutrient densities were calculated from the respective laboratory values and compared with recommended levels for 6–8 month-old infants. The energy density of the complementary foods were in the range of 3.70 to 3.76 kcal/g satisfying the minimum requirement set for a cereal-based CF. The protein values of the CFs (3.50 to 4.79 mg/100 kcal) also met recommended levels set by different authorities. Calcium density of the CFs (60.48 to 67.84 mg/100 kcal) were somewhere above 50% of the WHO/FAO recommendation. Both iron (2.42 to 5.19 mg/100 kcal) and zinc (1.41 to 1.49 mg/100 kcal) values were slightly below the recommended levels for infants of 6–8 months of age. In conclusion, the developed teff-based complementary foods were found to be of satisfactory nutrient densities and thus can be recommended to be used by infants in low-income communities together with breast milk so as to minimize the adverse consequences of protein-energy malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency complications.
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RUFORUM Journal Articles
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