Background: White maize, which is widely used for complementary feeding and is seldom fortified at the household level, may be associated with the high prevalence of vitamin A deficiency among infants in low-income countries.
Objective: The nutrient composition of complementary foods based on orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) and cream-fleshed sweet potato (CFSP), maize–soybean–groundnut (Weanimix), and a proprietary wheat-based infant cereal (Nestlé Cerelac) were assessed using the Codex Standard (CODEX STAN 074-1981, Rev. 1–2006) specification as a reference. Additionally, the costs of OFSP complementary food, CFSP complementary food, and Weanimix production at the household level were estimated. Phytate and polyphenols, which limit the bioavailability of micronutrients, were assessed.
Methods: Energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients listed as essential composition in the Codex Standard were determined and expressed as energy or nutrient density.
Results: All the formulations met the stipulated energy and nutrient densities as specified in the Codex Standard. The β-carotene content of OFSP complementary food exceeded the vitamin A specification (60 to 180 µg retinol activity equivalents/100 kcal). All the formulations except Weanimix contained measurable amounts of ascorbic acid (≥ 32.0 mg/100 g). The level of phytate in Weanimix was highest, about twice that of OFSP complementary food. The sweet potato-based foods contained about twice as much total polyphenols as the cereal-based products. The estimated production cost of OFSP complementary food was slightly higher (1.5 times) than that of Weanimix.
Conclusions: OFSP complementary food is a good source of β-carotene and would therefore contribute to the vitamin A requirements of infants. Both OFSP complementary food and Weanimix may inhibit iron absorption because of their high levels of polyphenols and phytate, respectively, compared with those of Nestlé Cerelac.
Subjects: Product development; Micronutrient analysis
Publisher: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
Publication Date: 2014
Identifier: doi: 10.1177/156482651403500107
HOW TO CITE
Amagloh, F.K. and Coad, J. 2014. Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato-Based Infant Food is a Better Source of Dietary Vitamin A than a Maize—Legume Blend as Complementary Food. Food and nutrition bulletin, 35(1), pp.51-59.