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Food Nutr Bull. 2007 Mar;28(1):23-34.

Improvement of the nutritional quality of a traditional complementary porridge made of fermented yellow maize (Zea mays): effect of maize-legume combinations and traditional processing methods.

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  • 1Université Laval, Faculté des Sciences de l'Agriculture et de l'Alimentation, Département des Sciences des Aliments et de Nutrition, Québec, Canada.



Blends with a cereal-legume ratio of 70:30 have been introduced in many communities for use in the preparation of complementary foods with augmented protein quality. These foods should meet World Health Organization estimated energy and nutrient needs from complementary foods.


To increase energy and nutrient densities and nutrient availability in a traditional complementary porridge.


Yellow maize was processed by lactic acid fermentation. Peanuts (Arachis hypogea) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) were processed by germination, roasting, dehulling, and a combination of germination and roasting. Blends were prepared from processed peanuts and beans and cooked into porridges with viscosities less than 3,000 cp. Traditional porridge was the control and consisted of fermented yellow maize only. The porridges were analyzed for their physicochemical and nutritional properties.


Blends increased energy and nutrient densities in porridges compared with the control (p < .05). The maize-peanuts combination yielded porridges with higher energy densities and improved nutritional quality compared with the maize-beans combinations. In vitro availability of iron did not change (p > .05) with formulation of the blends except for porridges made from maize and germinated peanuts, but there was a significant increase in zinc in vitro availability, whereas a decrease was observed for calcium in vitro availability. The energy densities of maize-peanuts porridges were sufficient to cover energy required from complementary foods for infants aged 6 to 11 months receiving four meals of complementary foods per day and an average amount of energy from breastmilk.


Maize-legume blends can efficiently improve the nutritional quality of traditional porridge. Peanuts are the best legume complements.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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