A food multi-mix supplement for pregnant women in the Vaal Region

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Twenefor, Charlotte
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Good maternal nutrition is vital for the health and survival of the developing foetus. Nutritive inadequacy has been associated with pregnant women in developing countries particularly Sub Saharan Africa. Adequate intake of both macro and micronutrients by this vulnerable group must be ensured to avoid maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. In this study, a novel approach was employed to develop a cost effective, culturally acceptable and nutrient-dense food multi-mix (FMM) supplement that would help meet 20-25 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of pregnant women aged between 20and 30 years in the Vaal region. Twenty FMM supplements were formulated using South African food composition tables to ensure adequate nutritional content. Two out of the twenty, were selected and named FMM C1 and C3 respectively. FMM C I and C3 was selected owing to their better nutrient contents and affordability when compared with the others. Food items used to formulate FMM C 1 included maize meal, pea powder, peanut dry, milk powder and kidney beans. FMM C3 was formulated with sorghum, maize meal, peanut dry and onion powder. Chosen food items were dried, roasted, ground and mixed together proportionately. FMM supplements (C 1 & C3) were analyzed using standard laboratory techniques to determine their nutrient content. Results obtained were from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). The shelf life of the FMM supplements was microbiologically tested. Shelf life testing proved safety for the time of consumption, as very little microbiological growth was found in 28 days. The FMM supplements were then incorporated in the development of two acceptable recipes (soup and gravy).Simple recipe leaflets were developed for use by the subjects. The process proved that it is possible to formulate a FMM or any other food product according to certain formulation criteria since formulated FMM supplements (C1 and C3) met the criteria of at least 20% RDA of Protein (g). However, the criteria for micronutrients and energy were difficult to meet as folate iron and energy showed lower percentages of 10%, 14% and 18% respectively in the experimental situation. Sensory evaluation was conducted to ascertain the acceptability of the developed recipes (soup and gravy). The sample consisted of pregnant women randomly selected from John Haynes and Sharpeville clinics respectively, it can be concluded it is possible to formulate and develop products that were culturally acceptable to the consumers (pregnant women) as sensory analysis indicated the majority (85%) of the respondents liked the gravy and 65% liked the soup. Further research is needed to address the impact on nutritional status, long-term compliance and development of range of FMM with various ingredients to determine the most nutritional, cost effective and acceptable product for pregnant women.
M. Tech Food Service Management (Hospitality, Tourism and Public Relations, Faculty of Human Sciences), Vaal University of Technology.
Pregnant women, Nutritional supplements, Recipes, Nutrient content