Formulation of a complementary food fortified with broad beans (Vicia faba) in southern Ethiopia

  • A Kebebu
  • SJ Whiting
  • WJ Dahl
  • CJ Henry
Keywords: legumes, pulses, phytate, Ethiopia, diversity


Adequate nutrient intake, especially of protein and micronutrients, enhances growth of children and decreases susceptibility to disease. Major contributing factors to malnutrition among infants and children are low purchasing power of the family resulting in poor quality foods. A cross-sectional and laboratory-based study was conducted at Titecha Kebele in Ethiopia to assess the consumption pattern of broad bean. The work also assessed use of broad bean for complementary feeding of young children, following FAO/WHO/UNU’s recommendation of adding up to a maximum of 40% legumes to cereal-based complementary food for young children. Study participants were mother-child pairs (n=169), and children were between 6-35 months of age. Most families were in poverty with stunting, wasting, and underweight present in 22.5, 4.7, and 8.3% of study children, respectively. Questionnaires gathered information on dietary intakes, and focus group discussions were used to obtain indepth information on the mother’s attitude and knowledge of child feeding, as well as overall consumption of broad beans. The mean dietary diversity score of children was approximately two out of a possible eight, and no child had consumed meat, fish, or vitamin A-containing fruits or vegetables the day before the study. Sixty percent of mothers did not provide bean-based food for their children, with the most frequently reported reason being lack of knowledge of its nutrient value for young children. To a typical complementary food of barley-maize porridge, 10, 20 and 30% of cereal was replaced by processed broad beans (Vicia faba), which increased in protein content, with no meaningful change in phytate content. Sensory evaluation showed that participant children and mothers preferred the taste of the 10% broad bean porridge; however, all added broad bean porridges had similar acceptability to the barley-maize control. Thus, inclusion of processed broad bean can effectively be done to improve nutrient content and nutrient availability of traditional cereal-based complementary foods in the Titecha kebele region of Ethiopia.

Key words: legumes, pulses, phytate, Ethiopia, diversity


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358