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Go Back       Himalayan Journal of Applied Medical Sciences and Research | Volume:3 Issue:2 | April 20, 2022
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DOI : 10.47310/Hjamsr.2022.v03i02.012       Download PDF       HTML       XML

Proximate, Mineral, Vitamin and Microbiological Quality of Locally Produced Weaning Food Formulated From Yellow Corn, Tigernut and Date Fruit


Anukam U. S., Ndu-osuoji, I.C., Ikechukwu-Onumonu C. C. and Ajike C. P

Department of microbiology/biochemistry, Federal polytechnic Nekede Owerri Imo State, Nigeria



*Corresponding Author

Anukam U. S


Article History

Received: 05.04.2022

Accepted: 14.04.2022

Published: 20.04.2022


Abstract: Weaning foods can be formulated from diverse raw materials. This study was conducted to formulate weaning food using available and cheap raw materials such as yellow corn, tigernut and date fruits and evaluate their proximate, mineral, vitamin and microbiological quality. Yellow corn, tiger nut and date fruit were purchased from a local market in Owerri, Imo State fermented and processed into pap (weaning food). Proximate composition of the pap ranged from 0.68% - 61.18%, Mineral content ranged from 0.91mg/100g -198.20mg/100mg, Vitamin composition ranged from 0.66ug/100g – 6.14ug/100g. Micrbial isolates from the weaning food included Leuconostoc, proteus Bacillus, Lactobacillus, Corynebacterium, Mucor, Penicillium and Sacchromyces sp. Total Viable Bacterial Count (TVBC) recorded 1.8 x 104 CFU/g without a coliform count and a Total Fungal Count recorded 8.0 x 103 CFU/g. Thus this study have shown that fortification of weaning food (pap) with tigernut and date fruits increased the proximate, mineral, vitamin content and micrbiological quality.


Keywords: Weaning food, proximate, Mineral, Vitamin and Microbiological assessment.


INTRODUCTION

Weaning is the stage when an infant moves from a diet consisting exclusively of breast milk to one which resembles that of adult in the community. It is the process of introducing semi-solid food into the infant diet (Walker, A. F. 1990). The growth of the infant in the first or second year is very rapid and breast feeding alone will not meet the child nutritional requirements.


The process of weaning an infant marks the transition from exclusively milk diet to one containing predominantly semisolid food (Henry-Unaeze, H. N. 2011). Weaning food ought to be rich in protein which is short supply in most part of Nigeria particularly in rural areas. These foods when eaten in large quantities provide considerable energy but the quality of the protein is low particularly for the growing infant.


In most rural areas, combination of different legumes, cereal grains, seeds and nuts are used in preparing weaning food for babies. The essence of supplementing most cereals with nuts is to improve their protein composition as well as other nutritional and proximate properties. Among these include; yellow corn, tigernut and dates. Yellow corn or maize (Zea mays L.) is an annual monocotyledonous diploid belonging to the Poacaea family and the Mayolae tribe of which eight different genera have been recognized by taxonomy (Singh., et al., 2006).


Tigernut (Cyperus esculentum) is a perennial grass-like plant with spheroid tubers, pale yellow cream kernel surrounded by a fibrous sheath. It is locally called “aya” in Hausa, “aki awusa” in Igbo, “ofio” in Yoruba, “isipaccara” in Efik. Tigernut are edible, sweet, nutty, flavoured tubers which contains protein, carbohydrate, sugar and lots of oil and fiber (Grossman, & Thomas. 2010).


Dates are a kernel surrounded by a fleshy pulp that is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Good dates are eaten locally or packaged in factories and often shipped abroad; the poor ones are fed to cattle.


Hence, this study was aimed at formulating a weaning food using locally available and cheap raw materials such as yellow corn, tigernut and date fruits and study the proximate, mineral, vitamin and microbiological quality of locally formulated weaning food produced from yellow corn tigernut and date fruit.


MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Chemicals and Reagents:

All chemicals and reagents used were of analytical grade.


Sample Collection:

Yellow corn, date fruits and tigernut were purchased from Nkwo-Ukwu Ihiagwa market, Owerri-West, L.G.A, Imo State, Nigeria and were taken to the laboratory for fermentation, formulation of weaning food and determination of the proximate, mineral composition and microbial qualities.


Processing of Yellow Corn, Date Fruits and Tigernut for Production of Weaning Food:

The methods described by (Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). 2005; Okafor, U. I. et al., 2018) were adopted in the processing of the grains and nuts into weaning food. The date fruits were soaked in clean water to soften the fruits and the fruits were broken and the seeds were removed. The tigernut and yellow corn were sorted and washed using clean water separately. The yellow corn was steeped in clean water for 72 hours for fermentation. The softened grains of yellow corn, date fruits and tigernut were ground in a mechanized milling machine. The ground slurry was rinsed with water and passed through a sieve (muslin cloth) to remove parts of the hull. The filtrate almost pure starch was placed in pots of water to settle and was covered up completely for laboratory analysis.


Yellow corn



Sorting



Washing thoroughly in water



Steeping in tap water for 72 hours at 27 0C



Washing



Addition of tigernut and date fruits



Wet milling



Wet sieving



Weaning food (pap)

Figure 1: Flow chart showing production of weaning food from yellow corn, tigernut and date fruits (Okafor, U. I. et al., 2018)


Determination of Proximate Compositions of the Formulated Weaning Food:

The proximate composition of the weaning food produced from yellow corn, date fruits and tigernut was analyzed for the following parameters: Ash content, protein content, crude fibre content, crude fat content, moisture content and carbohydrate content using the method described by (Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). 2005).


Determination of Mineral Contents of the Weaning Food:

The mineral contents were determined after the ash content determination. The ash residue of the formulation was digested with perchloric acid and nitric acid (1:4) solution. The samples were left to cool and contents were filtered through Whatmann’s No. 42 filter paper. The sample solution was made up to a final volume of 25 ml with distilled water. The aliquot was used separately to determine the mineral contents such as Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium and Potassium by using an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (Spectra AA 220, USA Varian) (Mbaeyi, I. E., & Onweluzo, J. C. 2010).


Determination of Vitamin Contents of the Weaning Food:

The methods of (Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). 2005) were adopted in the determination of the vitamin contents (vitamins B2, B3 and C) of the formulated weaning food.


Microbiological Analysis:

The microbiological quality of the formulated weaning food from yellow corn, date fruits and tigernut was determined using standard microbiological methods. The method described by (Ogodo, A. C. et al., 2015) was adopted. Exactly 1g of the weaning food was added to 9.0 milliliters of sterile water in a test tube and ten-fold serial dilutions were made. Thereafter, 0.1ml from the test tube labeled 10-3 was aseptically plated using pour plate technique for total viable aerobic bacteria count on nutrient agar (Biotech), eosin methylene blue agar and total fungal count on sabouraud dextrose agar (Biotech) supplemented with chloramphenicol (antibiotics). The inoculated media used were prepared and incubated at 37 0C for 24 hours for nutrient agar and eosin methylene blue agar and 28 0C for 72 hours. The numbers of viable microorganisms were counted, calculated and expressed as colonies forming units per gram (cfu/g) (Cheesbrough, M. 2010; Ezekiel, T. et al., 2016).


RESULTS:

Table 1 shows the proximate analysis of the weaning food produced from yellow corn, date fruits and tigernut. The proximate contents were; moisture (30.04%), ash (1.08%), fat (2.00%), fibre (0.68%), protein (5.02%) and carbohydrate (61.18%).


Table 1: Proximate Analysis of the produced weaning food

Parameters

Contents (%)

Moisture

30.04

Ash

1.08

Fat

2.00

Fibre

0.68

Protein

5.02

Carbohydrate

61.18

Key: % = Percentage


Table: 2 shows the mineral contents of weaning food produced from yellow corn, date fruits and tigernut. The mineral contents were; zinc (0.91 mg/100g), magnesium (80.00 mg/100g), iron (3.82 mg/100g), calcium (52.04 mg/100g) and potassium 198.20 mg/100g).


Table 2: Mineral contents of the produced weaning food

Parameters

Contents (mg/100g)

Zinc

0.91

Magnesium

80.00

Iron

3.82

Calcium

52.04

Potassium

198.20

Key: mg/100g = Milligram per 100 gram


Table 3 shows the vitamin contents of the weaning food produced from yellow corn, date fruits and tigernut corn. The vitamin contents were; vitamin B2 (1.48 μg/100g), vitamin B3 (6.14 μg/100g) and vitamin C (0.66 μg/100g).


Table 3: Vitamin contents of the produced weaning food

Parameters

Contents (μg/100g)

Vitamin B2

1.48

Vitamin B3

6.14

Vitamin C

0.66

Key: μg/100g = Microgram per 100 gram


Table: 4 shows the microbial load of the weaning food produced from yellow corn, date fruits and tigernut. Total viable bacterial count was 1.8 x 104 cfu/g, there was no coliform count while total fungal count recorded was 8.0 x 103cfu/g.


Table 4: Microbial load of the produced weaning food

Weaning food

TVBC

TCC

TFC (cfu/g)


1.8 x 104

NG

8.0 x 103


Table 5 shows the cultural morphology and microscopic characteristics of fungal isolates from the weaning food. They were; Saccharomyces, Kluyveromyces, Mucor and Penicillium species.


Table 5: Cultural morphology and microscopic characteristics of the fungal isolates from the produced weaning food

Cultural morphology

Microscopy

Possible yeast/mold

Green brown and white surface light yellow base and conidia and short aerial mycelium.

Filamentous, septate conidia.

Penicillium species

Whitish, circular, colonies with grey centre.

Non-septate with spores at both ends.

Mucor species

Creamy, creamy, oblong colonies.

Budded yeast cells in diploid.

Saccharomyces species

Creamy, white, raised, smooth colonies.

Budded yeast.

Kluyveromyces species


Table: 6 shows the cultural morphology and biochemical characteristics of the bacterial isolates from the produced weaning food. A total of five (5) bacteria were isolated. They include; Leuconostoc, Proteus, Bacillus, Lactobacillus and Corynebacterium species.


Table 6: Cultural morphology and biochemical characteristics of the bacterial isolates from the produced weaning food

Morphological Characteristics

Gram Reaction

Oxidase Test

Indole Test

Spore Test

Catalase Test

Citrate Test

Coaguase Test

Motility Test

SFT

Possible Bacteria

S

B

G

H2S

Milkish, flat, rhizoid-like dry-surface colonies.

Gram positive rods in short chains.

-

-

+

+

-

-

+

Y

Y

+

-

Bacillus species

Milkish, raised, non-mucoid regular shaped colonies.

Gram positive rods.

-

-

-

+

-

-

-

No Reaction

-

-

Corynebacterium species

Pale, flat, non-mucoid elongated colonies.

Gram negative rods in short chains.

-

+

-

-

+

-

+

R

Y

+

+

Proteus species

Milkish, raised, small, non-mucoid colonies.

Gram positive rod.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

No Reaction

-

-

Lactobacillus species

Grayish, smooth, circular, colonies of 1mm.

Gram positive cocci.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

No Reaction

-

-

Leuconostoc species

Key:    -= Negative           += Positive            S = color of slope  B = color of butt       G= Gas production     H2S= Hydrogen sulphide production (blackening)

R= Reddish coloration (alkaline production)  Y= Yellow coloration (Acidic production) SFT= Sugar fermentation test


DISCUSSION:

Cereal-based diets have been found to be of lower nutritional value than animal-based ones and this forms the primary basis for most of the traditional weaning foods in West Africa (Adeyemo, S. M., & Onilude, A. A. 2018). Considering the above challenges faced in weaning foods, this study was carried out to determine the effect of fortification of yellow corn (used in the production of weaning food) with tigernut and date fruits on theproximate, mineral, vitamin and microbiological quality.


Proximate Content:

The carbohydrate content recorded with the weaning food was a little bit lower compared to the ones reported with weaning foods made from only maize, sorghum and millet. (Ikram, U. et al., 2010) observed that carbohydrates are the major chemical components of the maize grains as they reported a range of 69.66-74.549 %.The formulated blend meets the daily nutritional requirements of growing infants. This agrees with the nutritional composition and specification for home-prepared and commercially-processed food blends as laid down by (Protein Advisory Group of the United Nations System (PAG). 2009) and recommended by FDA, FAO, WHO and UNICEF (Reports 1997-2012; 2007; 2000-2016). It is also able to supply the nutritional and energy requirement of a growing child and also confer health benefits on them as stated in the FDA report (2000-2016) while meeting the daily nutrient composition of the recommended standard for weaning when compared with commercially available ones.


The moisture content recorded with this pap is very low compared to that reported by (Ponka, R. et al., 2015) with pap made from five different maize samples which were within 82.10% to 86.85%. High moisture content during storage encourages the growth of certain harmful yeast, moulds and bacteria (Dowswell, C. R. et al., 2019). Moisture content also affects the physical, chemical aspects of food which relates with the freshness and stability for the storage of the food for a long period of time and the moisture content determine the actual quality of the food before consumption and to the subsequent processing in the food sector by the food producers (Suzanne, N. S. 2010).The ash content recorded in this study was 1.08%. This was higher than that reported by (Ukegbu, P. O., & Anyika, J. U. 2012) but lower with that reported by (Ponka, R. et al., 2015). The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for ash in foods is ≤5.0 mg/100 g (Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization. 1998).


The protein content recorded in this study (5.02%) is higher than that recorded with pap made from only maize. In a study by (Ponka, R. et al., 2015) on nutritional composition of five varieties of pap commonly consumed in Maroua, Far-North Cameroon, the protein contents of the paps ranged from 1.28% to 2.27%. It was also higher compared to that reported by (Makanju, D. A. & Awogbanja, S. 2012) which was 4.48% with pap produced from sorghum sold in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. However, (Anigo, K. M. et al., 2010) reported higher protein contents (6.76% to 7.88%) with paps produced with maize and millet sold in North-western Nigeria. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for crude protein in foods is ≥16.0 mg/100g (Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization. 1998).


(Ponka, R. et al., 2015; Ponka, R. et al., 2006) reported that addition of raw cow’s milk and roasted peanut pastes increased the protein contents of pap. The addition of date fruits and tigernut during the production of the weaning food could have contributed to the increase of the protein content compared to that of ordinary pap made from maize. Although the protein contents recorded in this weaning food is below the recommended protein content as specified by (Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization. 1994) which should be between 14.52 to 37.0g/100g.


The amount of fat recorded was 2.00 % which lower than that reported by (Ponka, R. et al., 2015).


High dietary fibre content has been reported to impair protein and mineral digestion and absorption in human subjects (Satter, M. A. et al., 2013). Fibre content of the weaning food was 0.68% which is below the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for crude fiber in foods for infants (6–12 months) is 4.0 mg/100 g (Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization. 1998).


Mineral Contents of Weaning Food:

Magnesium is needed for the body to remain healthy. It also helps in many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone and DNA (Hatanaka, M. & Ware, M. 2020). The magnesium content of the weaning food produced in this study was 80.00 mg/100g was higher than the magnesium content recorded by (Solomon, M. et al., 2000) (23.7 mg/100g) but lower than that reported by (Anigo, K. M. et al., 2010) (92.00 mg/100g) with pap consumed within Jos, Plateau State and North-western Nigeria respectively. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium for infants’ food is 350 mg/100g (Oyarekua, M. A. 2011) and the produced weaning food had magnesium content below the recommended.


In this study, the calcium content recorded with the weaning food produced was 52.04 mg/100g which is higher than the calcium content reported by (Ponka, R. et al., 2015) with pap sold at Cameroon (30.25 mg/100g) and that of (Ukegbu, P. O., & Anyika, J. U. 2012) with pap made from maize sold at Imo State. Calcium is an essential element in infants and young children for building bones and teeth, functioning of muscles and nerves, blood clotting and for immune defense (Satter, M. A. et al., 2013).


According to (Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization. 1998) as reported by (Oyarekua, M. A. 2011), the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of calcium in infants’ food is 295 mg/100g and the produced weaning food had calcium content below the recommended standard. The iron content recorded was 3.82 mg/100g. This is higher than that recorded by (Henry-Unaeze, H. N. 2011) with pap (2.49 mg/100g) sold at Umuahia, Abia State.


The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron in infants’ food is 10.0 mg/100g (Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization. 1998; Adeyeye, E. I., & Faleye, F. J. 2004). The iron content of the weaning food is below the recommended standard. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemic conditions in children (Dickinson, J. R. & Schweizer, M. 2004).


The zinc content recorded in this study (0.91 mg/100g) was comparable with that reported by (Ponka, R. et al., 2015) with five pap consumed in Cameroon. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for zinc in infants’ food is 3.0 mg/100g (Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization. 1998). The potassium content of the weaning food was 198.20 mg/100g which was closely related with that reported by (Ponka, R. et al., 2015) (198.20-322.22 mg/100g) with pap made from five varieties of maize but higher compared to that of (Solomon, M. et al., 2000) who reported potassium content of pap sold at Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria to be 57.36 mg/100g. However, the potassium content was below the recommended dietary allowance of potassium for infants below 1 year which 500 mg/100g. Low potassium intake has been associated with a lot of non-communicable diseases such as chronic kidney stone formation, and low bone-mineral density in children (World Health Organization. 2012).


Vitamin Contents of the Weaning Food:

According to (Richardson, D. P. 1997), the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin B2 is1.3 mg/100g and 16 mg/100g for vitamin B3. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is a part of the co-enzymes, flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), needed for oxidation/reduction reactions, including those involved in energy production. The vitamin B2 content recorded with the weaning food was within the recommended dietary allowance.


Vitamin B3 is a part of the co-enzyme, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) or its phosphate form, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphoric acid (NADP). The vitamin B3 and C content recorded in this study was below the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B3.


Microbial Load:

The microbial count obtained in this study fall within the recommended safe limit if microbial guidelines for ready-to-eat foods adopted by the international commission of microbiological specification of food (International Commission on Microbiological Specification of Microorganisms in Food. 2002) which states that the microbial safe limit for ready-to-eat food should fall between the range of 102 -105Cfu/ml this also in agreement with other works by (Olayiwola, J. O. et al., 2017; Bello, O. O. et al., 2018)


A total of five (5) bacteria were isolated. They include; Leuconostoc, Proteus, Bacillus, Lactobacillus and Corynebacterium species. This suggests that most of the microbes that participate in the fermentation of maize for pap (weaning food)production are mainly bacteria, despite the fact that some yeast also participate actively in the fermentation process (Izah, S. C. et al., 2016). The bacterial isolates were majorly lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and their presence could be connected to the acidic nature of the medium.


(Ogodo, A. C. et al., 2015) reported the isolation of Lactobacillus species, Salmonella species, Leuconostoc species, Citrobacter species, Micrococcus species and Klebsiella species from laboratory prepared and commercially prepared akamu sold within Uturu and Okigwe. (Ogwaro, B. A. et al., 2002) reported that maize porridge samples prepared for infants in Ghana were contaminated with pathogenic bacteria including Aeromonas, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and Vibrio cholerae. Similarly, (Ezendianefo, J. N., & Dimejesi, S. A. 2014) reported the isolation of Escherichia species, Staphylococcus species, Klebsiella species, Streptococcus species, Pseudomonas species, Mucor species, Aspergillus speciesand Fusarium species from akamu sold in Nnewi markets, Anambra State, Nigeria.


The sources of these bacteria could be from water used in fermenting the grains and grinding machine used in grinding the grains.


Fungi species such as Penicillium species are occasional causes of infection in humans and the resulting disease is known generically as penicilliosis (Hart, J. et al., 2012). The presence of this fungus could be from grinding machine, raw materials such as; tigernut, date fruits and yellow corn used in the production of the local weaning food used in this study. (Ike, C. C. 2017) reported the isolation of Aspergillus species, Penicillium species, Rhizopus species and Mucor species from tigernut sold at Aba Metropolis, Abia State. (Onyeze, R. et al., 2013) in their study on isolation and characterization of fungi associated with the spoilage of maize (Zea mays). Mucor, Aspergillus, Rhizopus, Penicillium and Fusarium species were associated with the spoilage of the maize.


CONCLUSION:

This study showed that weaning food could be fortified with tigernut and date fruits. The results of this study have shown that fortification of weaning food (pap) with tigernut and date fruits increased the proximate, mineral and vitamin contents and microbiological quality of the weaning food. However, personal grinding machine could give a better microbiological quality weaning food since the commercial machines may contain some microorganisms capable of contaminating the finished product. Furthermore, sources of the raw materials used in the production of weaning food should be free from spoilage microorganisms and properly washed in order to avoid microbial contamination.


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