H. Natabirwa, K. S. Tumwesigye, M. Matovu, P. Njoki, G. Menya,  A. Sapeho and H. Lwandasa

Food Biosciences, National Agricultural Research Laboratories

P.O Box 7852, Kampala

Abstract

Uganda is endowed with plenty of food raw materials, including cereals and root crops, which are still underutilized. Among the major ones include millet, sorghum, and cassava which are staple foods and commonly consumed in form of porridges, gruels and ugali (bread). Porridge from cereals is a common food for children aged ten and below or even other disadvantaged groups including HIV/AIDS individuals, the aged and convalescents. However, porridges have been known to provide low energy intake, very limited protein and are deficient in valuable micronutrients such as vitamin A, Iron and zinc. Based on this background, a study was undertaken to develop extruded composite flours from cereals, roots, pulses, and pro-vitamin A rich sources. Combinations of cereal/pulse; root/pulse; cereal/pulse/provitamin A source; and root/pulse/provitamin A source grits and flours were singly extruded. Substitutions were made from 0 to 40 percent of cereal or root with pulse.  Five (5) percent of the pulse in the combinations was replaced with provitamin A source. Resulting flours and porridge thereof were subjected to chemical and sensory evaluation respectively. Preliminary results show that porridges from extruded combinations were generally acceptable by trained panelists and rated fairly-good to good. Overall, combinations containing millet- maize- beans and cassava-maize-beans-pumpkin had very good appearance and taste as rated by panelists. Protein contents for cassava-bean and millet-bean combinations increased by 6.4 and 5.3 respectively, at of 25 and 30% substitution levels, compared to plain root or cereal protein contents. Provitamin A levels showed a similar trend. Inconclusive findings suggest a possibility for inclusion of protein and provitamin A in enrichment of flour for vulnerable groups. This will be possible by monitoring the growth and recovery of malnourished children when fed on extruded nutrient dense foods.

Keywords: Rain-fed, seasonal characteristics, onset, cessation

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