Product development, nutrient analysis and sensory evaluation of maize chips, enhanced with moringa oliefera
Product development of nutritionally enhanced foods, to improve food and nutrition security in developing countries, has gained momentum over the years. This study involved the product development optimization, analysis of nutrient and physiochemical content of a maize chip, enhanced with moringa oliefera, as a nutritious and safe snack for children. Food product development trials, nutritional analysis and microbiological testing were conducted. Two samples of moringa maize chip were developed: sample 1 (1 g moringa / 22 g portion of maize chips) and sample 2 (2g moringa / 22g portion of maize chips). Samples 1 and 2 contained 1.81g and 2.27g of fat, 84.9 μg and 100.2 μg of vitamin A and 220 mg and 273 mg of calcium, respectively. Sensory evaluation of the product developed was conducted through a cross-sectional study. One hundred children, aged 9–13 years from four schools were recruited through stratified random sampling from Verulam, Durban, South Africa. Using a validated five-point facial hedonic scale, sensory evaluation revealed that the chips, containing 2 g moringa, were preferred to those with 1 g moringa, for taste and texture. The promising nutritional analysis results and sensory evaluation outcomes indicated the potential for maize chips containing moringa, to serve as a healthier, sensory acceptable snack suitable for children.