Nutritional and anthropometric studies on Wister rats by feeding them with corn dough enriched with fish and shrimps - a locally formulated weaning diet

  • EA Amankwah
  • JH Oldham
  • J Barimah
  • A Kusi-Appiah
  • PA Boakye


Previous work done on the formulation of weaning diet by enriching corn-dough with fish and shrimps proved suitable for consumption by babies. This study seeks to determine the bioavailability of the nutrients using Wistar rats. Four composite samples were prepared in the ratios,
Maize, 80: Fish, 15: Cowpea, 5 (A); Maize 80: Fish, 10: Cowpea, 10 (B); Maize, 80: Shrimp, 15: Cowpea, 5 (C) and Maize, 80: Shrimp, 10: Cowpea, 10 (D). The cowpea added was mainly to mask any unpleasant fish or shrimp flavours. The nutrients in the blends and Cerelac® were
compared. The anthropometric results revealed that the effect of nutrients from the blends on weight and length increases of the Wistar rats, on the 28th day, were significantly higher in the blends than that of Cerelac® (control) (p<0.05). The availability of nutrients was confirmed after
28 days by determining the haemoglobin (Hb) and total protein count in the rats. The results showed that the total protein levels in the blends were all significantly higher (P<0.05) while the Hb levels in blends B and D compared favourably with that in the Cerelac®(E). The nutritional
composition (moisture, protein, fat, ash and carbohydrate) of the blends when determined every two weeks for a period of six weeks were found to be stable. Iron contents in the component that contained fish was significantly higher than those blends that contained shrimps. However, the
opposite was observed with calcium.

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eISSN: 0855-3823