Acceptability and nutritional contribution of grain amaranth recipes in Uganda

  • J Tibagonzeka
  • J Wambete
  • AM Muyinda
  • D Nakimbugwe
  • JH Muyonga
Keywords: Amaranth, dietary assessment, sensory evaluation


Grain amaranth is a highly nutritious crop. It is high in proteins and its proteins are of high quality. Compared to common starchy staples, grain amaranth also contains higher levels calcium, zinc, iron as well as vitamins A, E and folic acid. Grain amaranth has also been reported to exhibit nutraceutical properties. Despite its high nutritional value and nutraceutical properties, grain amaranth consumption in Uganda is low. This study was undertaken to evaluate the acceptance of grain amaranth containing recipes and to determine their potential nutritional contribution. A 24 hour
recall was conducted on a sample of 420 respondents drawn from nine sub-counties, three from each of three districts: The results of the 24 hour recall were used to calculate nutritional quality indices. The 24 hour recall results showed low nutritional quality indices for zinc, calcium, niacin, thiamin and lipids. In addition, diets for 74% of respondents were low in iron. A total of 17 recipes containing grain amaranth and other locally produced foods were then developed with the aim of producing products
with enhanced zinc, calcium, niacin, thiamin, iron and energy content. Products prepared based on the developed recipes were subjected to  proximate analysis and sensory evaluation while the recipes were assessed by farmer groups for acceptability. All the products developed were found to be highly acceptable, all scoring .7.5 on nine point scale. The presence of grain amaranth in the products enhanced the nutrient content of most foods, when compared to the traditional recipes without grain amaranth. The most marked positive changes attributable to presence of grain amaranth in the food formulations were observed in the levels of Zn, Fe and Ca. Grain amaranth markedly enhanced the nutrient content for the starchy staple dishes which dominate diets of low income households in the communities studied. These findings show that if incorporated into locally consumed dishes, grain amaranth would fill some of the dietary nutrient gaps. The high acceptability of the products containing grain amaranth and the recipes tested showed high potential for grain amaranth adoption once the recipes are disseminated.

Key words: Amaranth, dietary assessment, sensory evaluation


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358