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Bioavailability of Selected Micronutrients in Teff-based Complementary Infant Foods

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 3 ]


Mesfin Wogayehu Tenagashaw*, John Ndung’u Kinyuru, Glaston Mwangi Kenji, Eneyew Tadesse Melaku and Susanne Huyskens-Keil   Pages 257 - 264 ( 8 )


Background: The problem of micronutrient malnutrition is affecting millions of infants in the developing countries. One of the major issues that aggravates the problem is lack of appropriately processed complementary foods in which the bioavailability of the major micronutrients is improved.

Method: Teff, soybean and orange-fleshed sweet potato were separately processed into their respective flours and blended in a ratio of 70:20:10, respectively, to prepare household- and industrial-level complementary foods. The ingredients and developed complementary foods were analysed for their vitamin A, calcium, iron, zinc and phytate contents. Moreover, phytate: mineral molar ratios of calcium, iron and zinc in the complementary foods were calculated to determine their bioavailability.

Results: The vitamin A values obtained in the complementary foods were appreciable; they were in the range of 91.89 to 160.97 μgRE/100 g. Phytate content of teff and soybean was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) reduced by the household practices employed for processing them. However, the reduction was not significant (p > 0.05) in the household-level complementary foods because of the small quantity of germinated teff flours used. Calcium, iron and zinc compositions of all complementary foods closely met the recommended levels for 6 to 8 month-old infants. Phytate: mineral molar ratios for calcium and zinc in all complementary foods were below maximum recommended limits indicating their good bioavailability. In case of iron, these ratios were above the critical limit except that of the industriallevel complementary foods.

Conclusion: Generally, complementary foods with improved compositions and bioavailability of the micronutrients analysed were developed from the teff-soybean-orange-fleshed sweet potato formulations.


Bioavailability, complementary food, household, mineral molar ratio, minerals, orange-fleshed sweet potato, soybean, teff, vitamin A.


Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Department of Food Science and Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Department of Food Science and Technology, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Department of Food Science and Applied Nutrition, Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Addis Ababa, Division Urban Plant Ecophysiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin

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