Biological evaluation for protein quality of supplementary foods based on popped cereals and legumes suitable for feeding rural mothers and children in india

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Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 56: 37–49, 2001. © 2001 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

Biological evaluation for protein quality of supplementary foods based on popped cereals and legumes suitable for feeding rural mothers and children in India
Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition; 1Department of Grain Science and Technology; 2 Department of Food Engineering, Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore-570 013, India (∗ E-mail: Received 11 May 1999; accepted in revised form 23 June 1999

Abstract. Eight different formulations of supplementary foods (FS) based on popped cereals (wheat, ragi, bajra and sorghum) and legumes (soy and bengalgram) wereprepared. Four of the FS were produced with cereals, soy flour (SF) and bengalgram (BG) dhal and the other four were prepared with combinations of cereals and SF. These blends were evaluated for food efficiency ratio (FER), protein efficiency ratio (PER) and net protein utilization (NPU) using growing albino rats. Skim milk powder (SMP, standard reference protein) was used in the control diet. Ingeneral the FER (0.28 to 0.34), PER (2.7 to 2.9) and NPU (62 to 68) results of the FS were not significantly (p > 0.05) different among the FS groups or compared with FER (0.36), PER (3.0) and NPU (73.5) of the control SMP. It is evident from the results that all eight FS were nutritionally and biologically as good as SMP with regard to proximate composition, PER and NPU. Key words: Bioassay, Foodsupplements, Legumes, Popped cereals, Protein quality

Introduction Malnutrition among preschool children is quite prevalent in underdeveloped and developing countries [1]. Malnutrition during infancy results in growth retardataion [2]. Such morbidity is responsible for more than 10 million deaths per year in this age group world wide. Protein-energy malnutrition accounts for the highest infantmortality rate in India (95/1000 live births) compared to that in developed countries [3]. Although, various long-term programs [4, 5] have effectively reduced infant mortality, malnutrition remains a concern in many parts of the world. To combat malnutrition among mothers and children of low socioeconomic groups, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and FAO

38 have suggesteddevelopment of supplementary foods based on locally available food grains. In many developing countries, supplementary/weaning foods are made from cereals (wheat, ragi, bajra and sorghum), legumes (soy and bengalgram) and roots and tubers like cassava. Evidence indicates that it is possible to improve the nutrient quality of these cereals and legumes and exploit their potentials as human food by adoptingnewer processing methods [6, 7]. Popping is one of the traditional technologies which can be applied to most of the cereals [8]. Reports are available describing the use of popped wheat, sorghum, corn and bengalgram [9] and popped rice, sorghum, corn, wheat, soybeans and mungbeans [10] in developing supplementary foods. However, the popping technique most commonly used contaminates the popped grainswith sand particles and, thereby, affects the quality of the product. The objectives of this study were to develop ready-to-eat, nutritious supplementary foods using locally available cereals and legumes and to evaluate their protein quality (PER, NPU) using growing albino rats.

Materials and methods The concept of multimixes [11] was adopted for selecting the ingredients used in preparationof the food supplements. Protein content, amino acid profile and chemical scores of a number of combinations of locally available and commonly consumed cereals and legumes from different states of India and other developing countries were calculated. Cereals – wheat (Triticum vulgare), ragi (Eleusine coracana), bajra (Pennisetum typhoideum) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), and legumes – soybean...
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