MINERAL PROFILE OF INFANT-FED COMPOSITE COMPLEMENTARY FOOD PREPARED FROM MIAZE (Zea mays), SOYBEAN (Glycine max) AND Moringa oleifera LEAVES ()
This study developed and evaluated infant – feed composite complementary food made from locally available foods which was fed to infants 6-12 months of age. Dried Moringa oleiferaleaf was the fortificant. Yellow maize grains were fermented for 48h and oven – dried. Soybean seeds were boiled for 1h, dehulled and oven-dried. Moringa oleifera leaves were shade-dried. All the food materials were milled into fine flours. The proximate, energy, mineral and β-carotene contents of the flours were determined using standard methods. The flours were used to develop 2 blends in ratios of 60:40 (control) and 60:30:10 (test) maize + soybean and maize + soybean + Moringa oleifera leaves respectively. The analysis of the blends were done using standard techniques at 5% confidence level. The blends provided 10% protein. The blends were used to prepare gruels whose sensory evaluation was conducted using 30 mothers. The gruels were fed to 2 groups of infants in the Holy Child Motherless Babies Home in Enugu for 12 weeks. Protein (15. 15% vs 11.36.2%) and carbohydrate (47.15% vs 55.73%) of the blends differed. Ash (3.43% vs 3.08%), fat (30.64% vs 27.2%), crude fiber (3.63% vs 2.74%) and energy (1877 KJ vs 1827KJ) of both blends were comparable.
The Iron (8.32mg vs 6.82mg) and zinc contents (4.09mg vs 4.84mg) of the blends were similar. β-carotene (358.15 RE vs 521.28 RE) and calcium (14.6mg vs 829.28mg) of the test blend were higher than that of control blend. The blends had comparable flavor (8.03 vs 7.57) and texture (7.74 vs 7.37). Both blends were accepted well equally (7.97 vs 7.89), however, they differed in colour (8.10 vs 7.10). The body weight of the subjects increased significantly (9.34%) after feeding the test blend. There were slight increases in length (3.69% & 3.66%), head circumference (0.04% & 2.86%) and chest circumference (3661% & 2.81%) after feeding control and test blends,respectively. Serum zinc increased significantly (72.75ųg / 100ml to 148.80ųg / 100ml) in the control group. Haemoglobin (Hb) was higher (12.34% vs 8.96%) in the group fed test blend. Unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC) and total iron binding capacity (TIBC) increased much more (25.91% & 32.55%) in the subjects fed control blend. Moringa oliefera fortification of the infant complementary food improved the nutrient quality. Shade-dried Moringa oleiferaleaves had good nutrient profile and acceptance in food. Incorporation of pulverized Moringe oleifera leaves in infants’ food could diversity food intake and reduce some micronutrient deficiency diseases.