Synthesis of high quality complementary food from locally available crops
Complementary foods of high nutrient qualities are expected to be given to infants in order to maintain their healthy status as they gradually transit from breastfeeding to family food. This study was aimed at producing high quality complementary food from locally available crops. Acha (Digitaria exilis), soybean (Glycine max) and sesame (Sesamun indicum L.) seeds were cleaned separately of dirt and extraneous materials. The acha grains were malted by steeping, germinating (72 h), drying (60°C, 20 h), desprouting, dehulling, milling and sieving. Soybean was soaked, dehulled, boiled, dried and milled while sesame seeds were soaked, acetic acid treated, rinsed, dehulled, dried, defatted, re-dried and milled. Complementary food blends were formulated at various ratios from malted and unmalted acha, full fat soybean and defatted sesame flours. The formulations produced were assessed for chemical composition and functional properties. The results showed that protein of the malted blends ranged from 7.68-21.68%, the energy ranged between 358.45-433.30 kcal. The bulk density, water absorption and swelling capacities were lower in the malted blends. The viscosity of malted blends (< 2,550 Cps) was significantly lower (p<0.05) by LSD test than the values for unmalted blends (> 6,000 Cps). The supplementation with both soybean and sesame flours increased the protein, fat and ash contents of the blends while malting improved the consistency of the diet. The malted blends formed free flowing gruels which will aid consumption in infants.
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