Evaluation of beans as an ingredient in producing maize and millet based complementary foods
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Complementary foods in most of developing countries including Uganda are based on cereals, tubers and traditional foods like plantains, yams and cassava. Other nutrient dense foods that can be incorporated in complementary feeding are locally available but are underutilized due to un awareness among people on their nutritional contribution in complementary foods. Different approaches of utilizing the locally available nutrient dense foods are needed so as to offer communities’ opportunities to feed their children nutrient dense foods based on locally available, low costs, easily adopted as well as of highly acceptable attribute foods. This study developed millet and maize basedcomplementary floursusing beans as a potential protein source. Specifically, the study assessed the physiochemical properties, protein digestibility, sensory properties and consumer acceptability as well as the shelf life stability of the formulated flours. The results obtained were analyzed using XLSTART 2019 Version and subjected to one-way analysis of variance(ANOVA). The LSD between the meanswas determined using Fisher’s method at p<0.05. The proximate composition results showed that moisture content, ash, fat, crude fiber, crude protein, and carbohydrate content ranged from(5.92 to 7.33%), (1.07 to 3.21%), (2.06 to 2.37%), (3.83 to 8.33%), (9.33 to 15.48%), (64.46 to 70.92%) respectively in all samples. Invitro protein digestibility ranged (48.40 to 60.26%) in all samples. Sensory evaluation revealed that all porridge samples were accepted by panelists’ although porridge from sample B was the most acceptedby the panelists. Attributes like color, smell, thickness, mouthfeel, appearance and taste were the drivers to consumer liking of the formulated porridge. Therefore, the utilization of beans, millet and maize can provide composite products with high nutritional values, high bio-available protein, acceptable attributes and which can stay for a long time. It is therefore recommended from this study that, the awareness on the nutritional benefits, higher bio- available protein and shelf life stability of these foods in complementary feeding should be created to all communities so as to increase their utilization which will also increase its production. This will help in reducing childhood malnutrition in rural communities in Uganda which is contributed by the use of low nutrient dense complementary foods.