EVALUATION OF PLANTAIN AND COWPEA BLENDS FOR COMPLEMENTARY FOODS
Published: 23 May 2015
Abstract: Complementary foods were produced from plantain and cowpea flours using ratios 70/30, 60/40, 50/50, 40/60 and 30/70. The samples were evaluated for chemical composition, functional and pasting properties. Moreover, the nutritional evaluation of the diets was done through rat feeding. Protein efficiency ratio (PER), Net protein retention (NPR), True digestibility (TD) were estimated. Blood samples were also collected for hematological analysis. The blends were prepared for sensory evaluation by cooking with addition of sucrose and vegetable oil. A commercial proprietary weaning food was used as control. The protein content ranged from 13.60 to 22.67% and it increased with increase in cowpea inclusion. The energy content ranged from 351 to 355.03kcal/100g and it was highest in 70/30 blend. There were significant differences (p<0.05) in the dispersibility, water absorption capacity, loose and packed bulk densities and pasting characteristics evaluated. Highest mean weight gain (73.36g) was obtained from rats fed the skimmed milk diet followed by rat fed 30/70(28.04g) and the least (13.07g) was obtained from 50/50 blend. The net protein utilization (NPU) ranged from 43.6 to 75.4% while the true digestibility was highest for rats fed 30/70 blend followed by rats fed the control diet. No significant differences (P>0.05) were obtained from hematological parameters measured. The 60/40 plantain-cowpea complementary food was next to the control in terms of aroma with the score 5.70, while 50/50 plantain-cowpea complementary food was scored best in terms of texture with 5.70.
Keywords: plantain, cowpea, complementary foods. nutritive value, consumer acceptance
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