TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page                                                                                           i                      

Approval page                                                                                                             ii

Certification                                                                                                                iii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iv

Acknowledgement                                                                                                      v

List of Tables                                                                                                              xii

List of Figures/pictures                                                                          xiii

ABSTRACT                                                                                                               xv

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                                    

1.1       Background of the Study                                                                               1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                               2

1.3       Objectives of the Study                                                                                  4

1.4       Significance of the Study                                                                               4


2.1       Complementary feeding                                                                                 6

2.2       Nutrient density and bioavailability of nutrients in complementary foods    7

2.3       Amount of nutrients needed in complementary foods            9

2.4       Age of introduction of complementary foods   11

2.5       Meal frequency and energy density of complementary foods    13

2.6       Feeding non-breastfed children                                                 13

2.7       Anthropometric measurements                                                    15

2.7.1    Arm circumference                                                                                         16

2.7.2    Length or statue                                                                                              16

2.7.3    Weight                                                                                      17

2.7.4    Head Circumference                                                                                       17

2.8       Clinical observation                                                                                        17

2.9       Biochemical analysis                                                                                       18

2.9.1    Iron                                                                                                                 18

2.9.2    Normal range of serum iron                                                        19

2.9.3    Iron binding capacity                                                                     19

2.9.4    Screening for iron deficiency                                    20

2.10     Haemoglobin                                                                                                   20

2.11     Zinc                                                                                                                 21

2.11.1  Zinc Deficiency                                                                                              22

2.11.2  Dietary sources and bioavailability of zinc                    23

2.12     Calcium                                                                                                           24

2.12.1  Calcium requirement                                                                   25

2.12.2  Dietary sources of calcium                                                                 26

2.13     Maize                                                                                                              26

2.13.1  Origin and classification                                                              26

2.13.2  Chemical composition                                                                         28

2.13.3  Nutritive value                                                                                                28

2.13.4  Utility                                                                                                              29

2.13.5  Other uses                                                                                                       30

2.13.6  Pellagra                                                                                                           31

2.14     Moringa oleifera                                                                                             32

2.14.1  Origin, cultivation and utilization                                                 32

2.14.2  Nutritional composition                                          33

2.14.3  Phytochemistry of  Moringa oleifera                                  36

2.15     Soybean                                                                                                          36

2.15.1  Description and Classification                                      36

2.15.2  Origin and cultivation of soybean                                                 37

2.15.3  Preparation and uses of soybean                          38

2.15.4  Soy in infant formula                                                             39

2.15.5  Chemical composition and nutrition value of soybean    40

2.16     Fermentation                                                                                                   43

2.16.1  Fermentation method employed on infant foods in developing countries     43       

2.16.2  Benefits of fermentation                                                                44

2.16.3  Availability of iron and other divalent and trivalent cations from fermentation                                                                                           45

2.17 Food composite analysis for laboratory estimate               46

CHAPTER THREE: MATERIALS AND METHODS                                        

3.1       Materials                                                                                                         47

3.2       Preparation of materials                                                          47

3.2.1    Maize                                                                         47

3.2.2    Soybean                                                                                                          47

3.2.3    Moringa oleifera leaves                                                        48

3.3       Chemical analysis                                                                                            52

3.3.1    Proximate analysis                                                                                          52 Determination of moisture content                               52 Determination of ash content                                           52 Determination of Crude fibre                                                53 Determination of fat                                                                                       53 Determination of protein                                                54 Carbohydrate determination                                                      55 Energy determination                                                               55

3.3.2    Vitamin analysis                                                                                              55

3.3.3    Mineral analysis                                                                                              56

3.4       Study area                                                                                                       56

3.5       Screening exercise                                                                                           57

3.5.1    Inclusion criteria for both groups (control and test groups) 57

3.6       Characteristics of subjects                                                  57

3.6.1    Sex and age distribution of the subjects fed the diets 57

3.7       Formulation of the diets (blends) used in feeding trial           58

3.8       Preparation of gruel                                                           59

3.9       Sensory evaluation                                                                                          60

3.10     Anthropometric measurements                                     60

3.11     Blood sample collection                                                                                  61

3.12     Feeding                                                                                                           62

3.13     Biochemical analysis of blood samples                                         62

3.13.1  Haemoglobin determination                                                       62

3.13.2  Estimation of serum iron                                                        63

3.13.3  Serum calcium determination                                                    63

3.13.4  Estimation of serum zinc                                                   63

3.13.5  Determination of unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC) 64

3.13.6  Total iron binding capacity (TIBC)                                                  65

3.14     Statistical analysis                                                                                           65

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS                                                                                66-78


5.1       Discussion                                                                                                       79

5.1.1    Proximate and energy composition of maize, soybean and Moringa oleifera leaf                                                                                      79

5.1.2    Mineral and β-carotene of maize, soybean and Moringa oleifera leaves        81

5.1.3    Nutrient and energy contents of the control and test diets 81

5.1.4    Sensory evaluation                                                                                          82

5.1.5    Anthropometric indices                                                  82

5.1.6    Biochemical parameters (a) (Serum ca, zn, fe)           83

5.1.7    Biochemical parameters (b) (Haemoglobin, unsaturated iron binding and total iron binding capacity)                                                 84

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                      85

5.3       Recommendation                                                                                            85

            REFERENCES                                                                                              86-94


  1. Sensory evaluation data sheet                                            95-96
  1. Ethical clearance                                                                                       97

                                      LIST OF TABLES

1.         Desirable energy (kcal/g) and some nutrients (Unit/kcal) densities of complementary foods (100kcal) fed three times a day to children who are consuming average amount of breast milk             8         

2.         Estimated daily amounts of nutrients needed from complementary foods by age of infants and usual breast milk intake in developing countries         10       

3.         Minimal time intervals to detect changes in growth             15

4.         Average chemical composition of typical Nigeria dent corn variety 28

5.         Nutritive value /100g edible portion of Moringa   34

6.         Chemical composition of soybean (per 100g)                                     41

3.1       Sex and age distribution of subjects fed the different diets 58

3.2       Composition of the formulated diets (blends) used in feeding trial 59

3.3       Recipes for the gruel                                                                                       59

4.1       Proximate and energy composition of maize, soybean and Moringa   Oleifera leaves (%)                                                                                          66

4.2       Mean proximate composition of maize, soybean and Moringa oleifera leaves on dry matter basis  (%)                           67

4.3       Mineral and β-carotene contents of maize, soybean and Moringa Oleifera leaves (mg/100g)                                                                               68

4.4       Minerals and beta carotene of maize soybean and Moringa Oleifera leaves (mg/100g)                                                                               69

4.5       Proximate and energy composition of formulated diets (%)     70

4.6.      Proximate and energy composition of the formulated diets (dry matter basis;(%)                                                                                       71

4.7       Minerals and β – carotene contents of the formulated diets (mg/100g)         72

4.8       Minerals and β – carotene contents of the formulated diets (dry matter basis; (mg/100)                                                                         73

4.9       Sensory evaluation of formulated diet                                          74

4.10     Anthropometric indices                                                                75

4.11.1  Serum calcium, zinc and iron of the subject before and after feeding           76

4.11.2  Haemoglobin (Hb), unsaturated iron binding capacity (UBIC) and total iron binding capacity (TIBC) of the subjects before and after feeding the two diets.                                                                                                78

                                       LIST OF FIGURES

1.         Processing of maize                                                                            49

2.         Processing of soybean                                                                         50

3.         Processing of Moringa oleifera leaves                                                51


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 oleifera leaf was the fortificant. Yellow maize grains were fermented for 48 hand 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 oleifera leaves had good nutrient profile and acceptance in food. Incorporation of pulverized Moringe oleifera leaves in infants’ food could diversity food intake and  reduce some micro nutrient deficiency diseases.  



1.1       Background of the study

The causes of malnutrition are many and complex. Inappropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices coupled with high rates of infectious diseases are the major immediate cause of malnutrition during the first two years of life. Reports show that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is still very low in Nigeria- between 15% and 17%. Children who are not breastfed have repeated infections, experience poor growth and are almost six times more likely to die by the age of one month than children who receive at least some breast milk. From six months onwards, when breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet all nutritional requirements, infants enter a particularly vulnerable period of complementary feeding. They make a gradual transition to eating family foods. The incidence of malnutrition rises sharply between this age and 18 months in most countries (UNICEF, 1998; Dewey, 2003; WHO, 2003). The deficits acquired at this age are difficult to compensate for later in childhood. Infants therefore, need nutritionally adequate energy-dense complementary foods in addition to breast milk (NFCNS, 2003; WHO, 2003).

Unfortunately, complementary feeding begins too early or too late, and foods are often nutritionally inadequate and unsafe (WHO, 2002). This results to protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and micronutrient deficiency (hidden hunger). NFCNS reported very high levels of iron deficiency anemia among infants. Poor absorption of iron, parasitic infestation and disease are equally contributory factors. Often, the traditionally complementary foods consist mainly of porridges made from un-supplemented cereals and starchy food such as sorghum, maize and millet (WHO, 1998). The foods are mostly inadequate in energy, protein and micronutrients (ACC/SCN, 2000; Jarkata, 2005).

To this effect, the formulation and development of nutritious complementary foods from local and readily available foods had received considerable attention in Nigeria (Nnam, 1994; Ifudu & Obizoba, 1989; Obizoba, 1989; Nnam, 1998; Nnam, 2001; Nnam, 2000; Ibeanu & Obizoba, 2004; Nnam, 2002).

Staple foods such as maize, soybean and iron-rich green leafy vegetables e.g. Moringa oleifera (“drum stick” or “Okwe Oyibo”) could be good for the development of good complementary food. The thrust of this study is to develop and determine the nutrient value, and acceptability of maize-based complementary food fortified with Moringa oleifera and  access its quality in infants.

1.2       Statement of the problem

Micronutrient deficiencies have been recognized as an important contributor to the global burden of disease. Iodine deficiency in pregnancy has long been linked to intra-uterine brain damage and possible fetal wastage.  This has led to effective programs for making iodized salt available in iodine-deficient areas (Black, 2003). Iodine deficiency disease has been improved.

Iron deficiency also affects about two billion people.  However, interventions to control iron deficiency have been less successful.  Recent estimates finds that iron deficiency anemia is responsible for a fifth of early neonatal mortality and a tenth of maternal mortality.  Iron deficiency also reduces cognitive development and work performance.  Iron deficiency is the attributable cause of about 800,000 deaths and 2.4% , of the global burden of disease (Black, 2003).

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) harms the eyes and increase childhood and material mortality.  Globally, 21% of children have vitamin A deficiency and suffer increased rates of deaths from diarrhea, measles, and malaria. About 800,000 deaths in children and women of reproductive age ate attributable to VAD which accounts for 1.8% of the global burden of disease.  This appears to be lower than previous estimates possibly due to vitamin A supplementation or food fortification programs during the last decade.

The importance of zinc deficiency is being increasingly recognized.  Trials have shown that zinc supplementation results in improved growth in children, lower rates of diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia, and reduced child mortality.  In total, about 800,000 child deaths per year are attributable to zinc deficiency.  Zinc deficiency is responsible for 1.9% of global burden of disease.

According to WHO, 19% of the 10.8 million child deaths globally a year are attributable to iodine, iron, vitamin A, and zinc deficiencies.  In Nigeria, UNICEF (2001) recorded malnutrition as the major causes of health problem of infants and young children.  The problem is more common amongst children 6months to 24 months of age which coincides with the period of complementary feeding.  This problem is attributed to the introduction of poor complementary foods which are inadequate in protein, energy and micronutrients. In effect, vitamin A deficiency among these children is higher than 16% in some regions in Nigeria (Profile, 2001), and anemia as high as 50%, 43.1% suffered PEM. And 22.3% suffered from moderate and severe malnutrition.  Though PEM is addressed, there is still gap in micronutrient deficient problems.

To address these nutritional problems, nutritious complementary foods could be formulated from locally available foods and fortified with micronutrient dense food material.  This research therefore explored the nutritional quality of infant composite complementary food prepare from maize, soybean and Moringa oleifera

1.3       Objectives of the study 

The general objective of the study was to prepare infant-fed composite complementary food from locally available foods –maize (Zea mays), soybean (Gylycine max) and Moringa oleifera leaves- and evaluate the nutritional quality of the products. The specific objectives of the study were to:

a.         develop infant complementary food from yellow maize (Zea mays), soybean (Glycine max) and green leafy vegetables (Moringa oleifera).

b.         determine the nutrient composition of the complementary food.

c.         determine the acceptability of the food.

d.         determine the nutritional quality of the infant complementary food in children.

1.4       Significance of the study

            The result of this study would:

1.         provide a quality local infant complementary food for infants aged 6 months and above.

2.         further provide baseline information for Dietitians and Nutritionists, public and community health workers on how to fight malnutrition among infants and young children in Nigeria.

3.         increase food diversity.

4.         create room for more researches.

5.         create job opportunities for people who will embark on planting and processing of Moringa oleifera.

6.         improve the country’s  economy through individuals and groups.

7.         create room for and encourage nutrition education.

8.         project  Moringa oleifera as a possible home – gardening solution to malnutrition in the third world.