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This study used locally available raw materials to enrich the contents of provitamin A (β-carotene) and other nutrients in a maize-based traditional complementary food for infants and pre-school children in Benue State, Nigeria. Fermented maize, dehulled soya bean, and sliced mango
mesocarp were dried in a mobile wooden solar cabinet dryer (65°–70°C) to a moisture level of 8% to 10%. The dried products were milled separately. Blends containing different proportions of the flours were prepared to determine the most appropriate blend for preparing porridge,
which was tested by sensory evaluation. The most appropriate blend consisted of 55% maize, 25% soya bean, and 20% mango flour (blend B). Its β-carotene content was 233 μg/100 g. The β-carotene contents of other blends were 199 μg/100g for 60% maize, 25% soya bean, and 15% mango
(blend C), and 158 μg/100 g for 70% maize and 30% soya bean (blend A), whereas that of traditional maize akamu was 67 μg/100 g. The provitamin A retention percentages were 89% for blend A, 92% for blend B, 91% for blend C, and 88% for akamu. A healthy, well-fed infant 6 to 11
months of age is expected to consume 200 to 300 ml of the porridge, which provides 13 to 20 μg of retinol activity, compared with 1 to 2 μg of retinol activity expected from akamu. The porridge prepared with blend B was organoleptically acceptable. Detailed nutrient composition, including
essential amino acids, was determined.
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