Formulation and evaluation of complementary food based on bambara nut (Voandze subterranean) and pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan)
Introduction: Complementary foods for under-five children are usually produced by nursing mothers/care-givers using only cereals, with little or no nutrient enhancement by protein- rich staple foods, whereas there are locally grown and available and protein-rich legumes that can improve both nutrient composition and sensory characteristics of the cereal-based complementary foods.
Objectives: The study formulated and evaluated complementary food made from composites of maize, bambara nut and pigeon pea.
Materials and Methods: Yellow maize grains, bambara nut and pigeon pea were purchased from Ekeukwu, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. Five hundred grams (500g) of each of the grains were sorted, weighed, and cleaned. Maize was soaked for 48hrs, drained, wet-milled, sieved and oven dried at 60oC for 8hrs; it was re-milled and sieved (120 mesh size) to produce a fine flour. Bambara nut was toasted, cracked, winnowed, milled and sieved into fine flour. Pigeon pea was washed in clean water, and air-dried for 8hrs, dehulled and milled into fine flour. The fermented maize, bambara and pigeon pea flours were used to formulate complementary foods in the following proportions - maize : bambara nut, were combined in ratios of 80:20 (MBA), 70:30 (MBB), 60:40 (MBC), while maize : A B C pigeon pea were combined in ratios of 80:20 (MPA), 70:30 (MPB), 60:40 (MPC), 100% maize (MC) A B C served as control. Proximate composition of the complementary foods was determined while sensory evaluation was done to determine their organoleptic quality and acceptability.
Results: There was a significant difference (P<0.05) in protein, fat, crude fibre, ash and carbohydrate when compared with the control (Mc). Similarly, a significant difference (P<0.05) existed in the sensory attributes among the samples. Formulated complementary food samples containing bambara groundnut showed better results in terms of nutrient improvement and overall acceptability than pigeon pea samples.
Conclusion: The best (overall) sample was MBc (60:40). Hence, it was recommended that bambara nut should be used rather than pigeon pea when fortifying complementary food made with maize, to improve nutritional health of under-five children.
Keywords: Maize, complementary food, bambara-nut, pigeon-pea