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African Journal of Biotechnology

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Nutritive evaluation of Telfairia occidentalis leaf protein concentrate in infant foods

JO Agbede, M Adegbenro, GE Onibi, C Oboh, VA Aletor

Abstract


Leaf meal (LM), leaf proteins concentrate (LPC) and LPC residues from Telfairia occidentalis were produced, chemically characterized and the protein quality of the LPC evaluated using rats. Five infant weaning foods were formulated using varying combinations of T. occidentalis LPC and soybean meal. These foods were compared with three coded commercial infant weaning foods (CFF, CFN and CFC) currently in trade in a 28-day performance study. Though fractionation increased crude protein in LPC by 34.8%, the amino acid values were in most cases lower than the FAO/WHO/UNU recommendation. Fractionation led to increase in the gross energy by 22.0% and decrease in the phytate and tannin contents by 60 and 81.3%, respectively in LPC. The LPC, when fed as sole protein source, led to weight loss in rats. The highest final weight was observed in rats fed 100% LPC + 0% soybean meal-based
food (105.4 ± 16.4 g) and least in CFN (50.0 ± 4.2 g), a commercial food. The formulated foods had significant (P<0.05) effects on apparent N-digestibility, ‘operative’ protein efficiency ratio and haematological variables. Inclusion of T. occidentalis LPC in food preparations could help to reduce the cost of infant weaning foods.



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