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Development and Physico-Chemical Characterization of a Shea Butter-Containing Lipid Nutrition Supplement for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sloffer EM, et al. Foods. 2017.


Lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) are used to prevent and treat moderate and severe acute malnutrition, a leading cause of mortality in children-under-five. The physical and chemical changes of two new LNS products were evaluated before and after accelerated shelf life testing (ASLT) according to protocols suggested by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Doctors without Borders and compared against USAID's A-20 paste as a control. LNS formulas containing Shea butter from the Shea nut tree (Vitellaria paradoxa), a common fat source in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, with and without flax-seed oil, as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, were developed. LNS formulas were batched (0.8 kg) in a wet grinder, sealed under nitrogen in three-layer mini-pouches (20 g), and underwent ASLT at 40 ± 2 °C for six months with sampling every eight weeks. At each time point, water activity, moisture, peroxide value, oil separation, vitamin C content, and hardness were evaluated. Results showed comparable stability among all formulas with an increase in Aw (p < 0.05) but no change in vitamin C, oil separation, or peroxide value. Addition of Shea butter improved the LNS's hardness, which remained stable over time. Modifying fat profile in LNS can improve its texture and essential fatty acid content without affecting its storage stability.


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