Development of sweet potato-soybean blend, an alternative to maize-legume mix as complementary food for infants in Ghana

Background: The composition of the foods given to infants and young children in Ghana significantly contributes to the prevalence of malnutrition. Currently, a better option may be Weanmix (maize-soyabean-groundnut blend) designed to be processed as industrial- or household-level complementary food. Weanmix has adequate protein and energy densities, but is high in phytate an antinutrient which inhibits nutrient bioavailability.

Objective: To formulate a low-phytate complementary food from cream-fleshed sweetpotato to contain comparable levels of macronutrients as Weanmix.

Design: A composite blend of sweetpotato, defatted soyabean and soyabean oil was cooked on a stove-top, oven-dried, milled and enriched with fishmeal (referred to as stove-top cooked ComFa).

Outcomes: Stove-top cooked ComFa had a protein level which was higher than that of Weanmix (25.49±0.10 vs. 14.26±0.29 g/100 g; p=0.001). However, the energy content was low compared to Weanmix (370±1.70 vs 431±0.71 kcal/100g; p=0.001). stove-top cooked Comfa had 7.5% energy deficit compared to the recommended level of atleast 400 kcal/100g in codex standard, but met the calcium (105mg/100 kcal) and zinc (1.6 mg/100 kcal) densities as recommended by WHO for complementary foods.

Conclusion: The sweet potato-soyabean blend has the potential to serve as an alternative complementary food if the energy content could be improved.

Key Document Information

Authors: Francis Kweku Amagloh, A. Hardacre, J.L. Weber, L. Brough, A.N. Mutukumira, J. Coad

Publication Date: 2010

Publisher: Nutrition Society of New Zealand


Amagloh, F.K., Hardacre, A., Weber, J.L., Brough, L., Mutukumira, A.N. and Coad, J., 2010. Development of sweet potato-soybean blend, an alternative to maize-legume mix as complementary food for infants in Ghana. NUTRITION SOCIETY, 34, p.68.

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