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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 14, No. 5, 2014, pp. 2036-2056
Bioline Code: nd14053
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 14, No. 5, 2014, pp. 2036-2056

Bonsi, E.A.; Plahar, W.A. & Zabawa, R.


Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a public health problem in Ghana. Research on the orange flesh sweetpotato root has been given prominence because of its high β-carotene content as a means to enhance the nutritive value and vitamin A content of the traditional diets of Ghanaian children as a long-term intervention towards combating VAD. Two Ghanaian cereal-legume weaning foods: roasted maize- soy blend and fermented maize-soy blend were added to Orange Flesh Sweetpotato (OFS) flour from the variety, Beauregard, to develop four weaning food formulations. To each product formulation preparation, 25% and 50% OFS flour was added to the basic cereal-legume meals, and mixed thoroughly. The four weaning formulations were evaluated for chemical composition, sensory characteristics and consumer acceptability. All samples had a range of protein (12.1% - 15%), fat (4.8% - 6.4%), carbohydrate (71.1% – 75.1%), energy (380 - 390 kcal/100g) and minerals (calcium, iron and phosphorus) to ensure good nutrient density, while the moisture content was low (5.3% - 6.1%) for storage stability. The contribution of β-carotene (55.18–115.55 ug/g) by the OFS in the formulations further enhanced the nutritive value of all the blends and is enough to meet the daily β-carotene needs of the children (1-6 yrs of 400-450ug/100g). A higher level of β-carotene was seen in the roasted maize meal weaning foods which makes them a better potential blend for combating VAD. Also, sensory evaluation of the products indicated the highest consumer acceptability score (87%) for the roasted maize meal porridge formulation containing 25% OFS. It is, therefore, concluded that OFS flour has the potential to be used at 25% replacement level in the soy-fortified roasted maize meal formulation, and OFS is a useful ingredient with the potential to improve the β-carotene or vitamin A content of such formulations. This will help alleviate vitamin A deficiency of children in Ghana and other countries with similar problems. It is, therefore, recommended that the orange flesh sweetpotato flour be used by mothers as an entry point for enhancing the traditional weaning food preparations.

β-carotene; sweetpotato flour; weaning foods

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