In-vivo Assessment in animal models for some commonly consumed standardized maize-based dishes and snacks in Nigeria
Objective: The study evaluated the nutritive value of ten standardized maize-based dishes/snacks (Dame, Donkwa, Egbo, Eko, kokoro, Kunu, Masa, Ogi, Pete and Tuwo) popularly consumed in Nigeria using the growth performance,chemical and haematological parameters of albino rats which were fed these dishes/snacks.
Materials and Methods: In a preliminary study, the maize-based dishes/snacks had been standardized. The growth performance of the animalsfed these dishes/snacks were determined in a 14 day feeding trial using 34 young and 34 adult male albino rats (Sprague dawley) and a nitrogen-free diet served as
control. Weight gain/loss were measured by recording the weight of the albino rats before and after the feeding period and the differences in weight recorded, while faecal and blood samples from the animals were analyzed for minerals and haematological parameters. Data were analysed using SPSS version 17.0 and SAS version 8.02 to test the differences between means at 5% level of significance.
Results: Results showed that Pete, Masa and Donkwa supported growth better in the adult rats with more than 70% absorption of iron, zinc and copper. The protein efficiency ratio (PER) of the dishes were between 0.05 and 1.17. The packed cell volume and haemoglobin levels of the young rats were below normal ranges, while those of the adult rats were within normal ranges.
Conclusion: Pete, Donkwa and Masa contributed more to weight gain in the adult rats and therefore may be used to satisfy the energy requirements of middle-aged people, but are inadequate for growing children.
Keywords: Albino rats, Maize, snacks, Growth performance, Haematological parameters