This study developed and evaluated infant – feed composite complementary food made from locally available foods which was fed to infants 6-12 months of age. Dried Moringa oleifera leaf was the fortificant. Yellow maize grains were fermented for 48h and oven – dried. Soybean seeds were boiled for 1h, dehulled and oven-dried. Moringa oleifera leaves were shade-dried. All the food materials were milled into fine flours. The proximate, energy, mineral and β-carotene contents of the flours were determined using standard methods. The flours were used to develop 2 blends in ratios of 60:40 (control) and 60:30:10 (test) maize + soybean and maize + soybean + Moringa oleifera leaves respectively. The analysis of the blends were done using standard techniques at 5% confidence level. The blends provided 10% protein. The blends were used to prepare gruels whose sensory evaluation was conducted using 30 mothers. The gruels were fed to 2 groups of infants in the Holy Child Motherless Babies Home in Enugu for 12 weeks. Protein (15. 15% vs 11.36.2%) and carbohydrate (47.15% vs 55.73%) of the blends differed. Ash (3.43% vs 3.08%), fat (30.64% vs 27.2%), crude fiber (3.63% vs 2.74%) and energy (1877 KJ vs 1827KJ) of both blends were comparable. The Iron (8.32mg vs 6.82mg) and zinc contents (4.09mg vs 4.84mg) of the blends were similar. β-carotene (358.15 RE vs 521.28 RE) and calcium (14.6mg vs 829.28mg) of the test blend were higher than that of control blend. The blends had comparable flavor (8.03 vs 7.57) and texture (7.74 vs 7.37). Both blends were accepted well equally (7.97 vs 7.89), however, they differed in colour (8.10 vs 7.10). The body weight of the subjects increased significantly (9.34%) after feeding the test blend. There were slight increases in length (3.69% & 3.66%), head circumference (0.04% & 2.86%) and chest circumference (3661% & 2.81%) after feeding control and test blends, respectively. Serum zinc increased significantly (72.75ųg / 100ml to 148.80ųg / 100ml) in the control group. Haemoglobin (Hb) was higher (12.34% vs 8.96%) in the group fed test blend. Unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC) and total iron binding capacity (TIBC) increased much more (25.91% & 32.55%) in the subjects fed control blend. Moringa oliefera fortification of the infant complementary food improved the nutrient quality. Shade-dried Moringa oleifera leaves had good nutrient profile and acceptance in food. Incorporation of pulverized Moringe oleifera leaves in infants’ food could diversity food intake and reduce some micronutrient deficiency diseases.


Title page
List of Tables
List of Figures/pictures

1.1       Background of the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Objectives of the Study
1.4       Significance of the Study

2.1       Complementary feeding
2.2       Nutrient density and bioavailability of nutrients in complementary foods
2.3       Amount of nutrients needed in complementary foods
2.4       Age of introduction of complementary foods
2.5       Meal frequency and energy density of complementary foods
2.6       Feeding non-breastfed children
2.7       Anthropometric measurements
2.7.1    Arm circumference
2.7.2    Length or statue
2.7.3    Weight
2.7.4    Head Circumference
2.8       Clinical observation
2.9       Biochemical analysis
2.9.1    Iron
2.9.2    Normal range of serum iron
2.9.3    Iron binding capacity
2.9.4    Screening for iron deficiency
2.10     Haemoglobin
2.11     Zinc
2.11.1  Zinc Deficiency
2.11.2  Dietary sources and bioavailability of zinc
2.12     Calcium
2.12.1  Calcium requirement
2.12.2  Dietary sources of calcium
2.13     Maize
2.13.1  Origin and classification
2.13.2  Chemical composition
2.13.3  Nutritive value
2.13.4  Utility
2.13.5  Other uses
2.13.6  Pellagra
2.14     Moringa oleifera
2.14.1  Origin, cultivation and utilization
2.14.2  Nutritional composition
2.14.3  Phytochemistry of Moringa oleifera
2.15     Soybean
2.15.1  Description and Classification
2.15.2  Origin and cultivation of soybean
2.15.3  Preparation and uses of soybean
2.15.4  Soy in infant formula
2.15.5  Chemical composition and nutrition value of soybean
2.16     Fermentation
2.16.1  Fermentation method employed on infant foods in developing countries
2.16.2  Benefits of fermentation
2.16.3  Availability of iron and other divalent and trivalent cations from fermentation
2.17 Food composite analysis for laboratory estimate

3.1       Materials
3.2       Preparation of materials
3.2.1    Maize
3.2.2    Soybean
3.2.3    Moringa oleifera leaves
3.3       Chemical analysis
3.3.1    Proximate analysis Determination of moisture content Determination of ash content Determination of Crude fibre Determination of fat Determination of protein Carbohydrate determination Energy determination
3.3.2    Vitamin analysis
3.3.3    Mineral analysis
3.4       Study area
3.5       Screening exercise
3.5.1    Inclusion criteria for both groups (control and test groups)
3.6       Characteristics of subjects
3.6.1    Sex and age distribution of the subjects fed the diets
3.7       Formulation of the diets (blends) used in feeding trial
3.8       Preparation of gruel
3.9       Sensory evaluation
3.10     Anthropometric measurements
3.11     Blood sample collection
3.12     Feeding
3.13     Biochemical analysis of blood samples
3.13.1  Haemoglobin determination
3.13.2  Estimation of serum iron
3.13.3  Serum calcium determination
3.13.4  Estimation of serum zinc
3.13.5  Determination of unsaturated iron binding capacity (UIBC)
3.13.6  Total iron binding capacity (TIBC)
3.14     Statistical analysis


5.1       Discussion
5.1.1    Proximate and energy composition of maize, soybean and Moringa oleifera leaf
5.1.2    Mineral and β-carotene of maize, soybean and Moringa oleifera leaves
5.1.3    Nutrient and energy contents of the control and test diets
5.1.4    Sensory evaluation
5.1.5    Anthropometric indices
5.1.6    Biochemical parameters (a) (Serum ca, zn, fe)
5.1.7    Biochemical parameters (b) (Haemoglobin, unsaturated
            iron binding and total iron binding capacity)
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendation



1.1        Background of the study
The causes of malnutrition are many and complex. Inappropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices coupled with high rates of infectious diseases are the major immediate cause of malnutrition during the first two years of life. Reports show that the rate of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is still very low in Nigeria- between 15% and 17%. Children who are not breastfed have repeated infections, experience poor growth and are almost six times more likely to die by the age of one month than children who receive at least some breast milk. From six months onwards, when breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet all nutritional requirements, infants enter a particularly vulnerable period of complementary feeding. They make a gradual transition to eating family foods. The incidence of malnutrition rises sharply between this age and 18 months in most countries (UNICEF, 1998; Dewey, 2003; WHO, 2003). The deficits acquired at this age are difficult to compensate for later in childhood. Infants therefore, need nutritionally adequate energy-dense complementary foods in addition to breast milk (NFCNS, 2003; WHO, 2003).

Unfortunately, complementary feeding begins too early or too late, and foods are often nutritionally inadequate and unsafe (WHO, 2002). This results to protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and micronutrient deficiency (hidden hunger). NFCNS reported very high levels of iron deficiency anemia among infants. Poor absorption of iron, parasitic infestation and disease are equally contributory factors. Often, the traditionally complementary foods consist mainly of porridges made from un-supplemented cereals and starchy food such as sorghum, maize and millet (WHO, 1998). The foods are mostly inadequate in energy, protein and micronutrients (ACC/SCN, 2000; Jarkata, 2005).
To this effect, the formulation and development of nutritious complementary foods from local and readily available foods had received considerable attention in Nigeria (Nnam, 1994; Ifudu & Obizoba, 1989; Obizoba, 1989; Nnam, 1998; Nnam, 2001; Nnam, 2000; Ibeanu & Obizoba, 2004; Nnam, 2002).
Staple foods such as maize, soybean and iron-rich green leafy vegetables e.g. Moringa oleifera (“drum stick” or “Okwe Oyibo”) could be good for the development of good complementary food. The thrust of this study is to develop and determine the nutrient value, and acceptability of maize-based complementary food fortified with Moringa oleifera and access its quality in infants.

1.2        Statement of the problem
Micronutrient deficiencies have been recognized as an important contributor to the global burden of disease. Iodine deficiency in pregnancy has long been linked to intra-uterine brain damage and possible fetal wastage. This has led to effective programs for making iodized salt available in iodine-deficient areas (Black, 2003). Iodine deficiency disease has been improved.

Iron deficiency also affects about two billion people. However, interventions to control iron deficiency have been less successful. Recent estimates finds that iron deficiency anemia is responsible for a fifth of early neonatal mortality and a tenth of maternal mortality. Iron deficiency also reduces cognitive development and work performance. Iron deficiency is the attributable cause of about 800,000 deaths and 2.4% , of the global burden of disease (Black, 2003).
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) harms the eyes and increase childhood and material mortality. Globally, 21% of children have vitamin A deficiency and suffer increased rates of deaths from diarrhea, measles, and malaria. About 800,000 deaths in children and women of reproductive age ate attributable to VAD which accounts for 1.8% of the global burden of disease. This appears to be lower than previous estimates possibly due to vitamin A supplementation or food fortification programs during the last decade.
The importance of zinc deficiency is being increasingly recognized. Trials have shown that zinc supplementation results in improved growth in children, lower rates of diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia, and reduced child mortality. In total, about 800,000 child deaths per year are attributable to zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency is responsible for 1.9% of global burden of disease.

According to WHO, 19% of the 10.8 million child deaths globally a year are attributable to iodine, iron, vitamin A, and zinc deficiencies. In Nigeria, UNICEF (2001) recorded malnutrition as the major causes of health problem of infants and young children. The problem is more common amongst children 6months to 24 months of age which coincides with the period of complementary feeding. This problem is attributed to the introduction of poor complementary foods which are inadequate in protein, energy and micronutrients. In effect, vitamin A deficiency among these children is higher than 16% in some regions in Nigeria (Profile, 2001), and anemia as high as 50%, 43.1% suffered PEM. And 22.3% suffered from moderate and severe malnutrition. Though PEM is addressed, there is still gap in micronutrient deficient problems....

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