Development and quality evaluation of weaning foods based on orange-fleshed sweet potato flour to alleviate infant malnutrition in Ghana


This PowerPoint presentation by W.A. Plahar (PhD) from CSIR-Food Research Institute Accra, Ghana, is from the project "Increasing nutrients in traditional diets with orange-fleshed sweet potatoes" in Ghana. The principal investigator on this project is Eunice Bonsi, Tuskegee University.

The presentation briefly outlines the problem of infant malnutrition, including leading forms of malnutrition in developing countries. There is a focus on the orange-fleshed sweet potato root, with its high beta-carotene content and potential to contribute to weaning food products to help alleviate vitamin A deficiency among children.

The purpose is to develop acceptable, high-quality weaning foods using orange-fleshed sweet potato flour, formulated with maize, soybeans, and peanuts. Process optimization and standardization for effective value addition and enhanced sensory attributes were the main focus in the product development efforts.

The presentation reviews the preparation process for blended ingredients, the process of chemical quality evaluation (including measuring moisture, protein, fat and ash, micronutrients, carbohydrate and energy value contents). The project also conducted a sensory preference evaluation using cooked porridge prepared from the samples and assessing appearance, color, texture, consistency, aroma, taste, mouth feel and overall acceptability.

In this PowerPoint, the results are revealed, including product characteristics of each of the six different blend formulations. The project used triangle tests to assess detectable differences between orange-fleshed sweet potato weaning foods and traditional counterparts, and reports those differences. It also provides mean sensory scores and a summary of overall acceptability scores, degree of liking and limiting sensory factors for the orange-fleshed sweet potato-based weaning foods. Additional results include proximate composition and mineral content with or without peanuts and the beta-carotene content of orange-fleshed sweet potato-based weaning foods.

Conclusions: The orange-fleshed sweet potato flour can be used at 25% replacement levels (at least) with maize, in the formulation of highly acceptable good quality weaning foods based on the soy-fortified traditional Tom Brown to help alleviate malnutrition problems in Ghana. The obvious contribution of high levels of β-carotene makes the orange-fleshed sweet potato a useful ingredient with the potential to improve the vitamin A content of such blends.

Value Chain