QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF BABY FOOD PRODUCED FROM CEREALS ENRICHED WITH DATE PALM
The objectives of the study were to formulate a composite blend (weaning food) based on locally available cereals and legumes, to chemically evaluate their nutrient values, and compare with those of a proprietary formula. The study is part of the effort to provide home-based complementary (weaning) foods that can be more cost-effective to the low-income families. Composite blends were formulated based on protein basis of the food commodities used: millet, guinea corn, yellow corn, soybean, groundnut and date palm. Standard procedures of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists were used to determine the proximate chemical composition. Atomic absorption spectrophotometer and ion chromatographic analyzer were used to determine the mineral elements composition. The overall results indicated that crude protein, lipid, fibre, ash, moisture, energy and carbohydrate contents of the composite blend were either comparable or higher than values in the proprietary formula. The researchers believe that complementary foods formulated from locally available food commodities have great potential in providing nutritious foods that are practical, food-based approaches, aimed at combating the problem of malnutrition among infants and children in Nigeria in particular, and developing countries in general.