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Suitability of Protein-Rich Extract from Okra Seed for Formulation of Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF)

N.S. Uhiara
Greg Onwuka


Protein-rich extract (PRE) was made from okra (Abelmuscus esculentus) seeds. Three versions of feed A, B, and C were formulated using: as sources of protein, A – protein-rich extract from okra seed, B – dehulled and de-fatted okra seed flour (34% protein), C – casein. Each of the feeds was fed to a group of six rats (21 days old mice) for 21 days. The weights of the rats and their droppings were taken at 3-day intervals so were the weights of feed consumed. After 21 days, the rats were decapitated and blood samples harvested. The blood was used for the haematological tests. Liver and heart toxicity indicator including aspartate amino transferase (AST) and alanine amino transferase (ALT) were assayed. Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) prepared with PRE of okra seeds was formulated and organoleptically assessed in co mparison to a standard product. The results showed protein efficiency ratio for A, B, C to be 0.33, 0.14 and 0.47 respectively. The mean weights of the droppings are 2.6, 1.9 and 1.5 respectively, showing significant difference (p ≤ 0.01). The serum AST was 56.5, 72 and 24 (IU/L) respectively. For ALT it was 16.5, 3.1 and 11 respectively. There was no significant difference between the RUTF as well as weaning foods formulated and the standards in terms of overall acceptability (p ≤ 0.01).

Keywords: Protein efficiency ratio, toxicity, weaning food, aspartate amino transferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT).