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Food Nutr Bull. 2009 Jun;30(2):153-60.

Development of an improved local-ingredient-based complementary food and technology transfer to rural housewives.

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Biomedical and Public Health Department, Institute for Research in Health Sciences, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.



Food technology transfer to rural households, based on local ingredients, is a relevant and sustainable strategy to ensure better nutrition of young children. Objective. To develop an improved mush based on local ingredients and evaluate the potential for transferring its technology to rural housewives.


We developed a flour-based food using Alicom software and performed laboratory trials to evaluate its actual nutritional quality. Then we recruited housewives from each of the 27 project villages and trained them in flour production and mush preparation twice daily, 6 days a week, for 26 weeks. Mush was sampled during the training session and at weeks 4, 12, and 22 and evaluated for actual flow distance and dry matter content, which served to estimate energy density and iron and zinc contents.


The laboratory trials reported average energy densities of 103 kcal/l00 g, iron contents of 2.6 mg/100 kcal, and zinc contents of 1.2 mg/100 kcal. The average (+/- SD) energy densities of the mush samples obtained during the training session and at weeks 4, 12, and 22 were 103.0 +/- 5.6, 103.3 +/- 5.2, 107.9 +/- 11.5, and 101.3 +/- 8.7 kcal/100 g, respectively. The average iron contents were 2.3 +/- 0.5, 2.3 +/- 0.5, 2.6 +/- 0.3, and 1.8 +/- 0.8 mg/ 100 kcal, respectively, and the average zinc contents were 1.6 +/- 0.1, 1.6 +/- 0.1, 1.7 +/- 0.1, and 1.6 +/- 0.2 mg/100 kcal.


Developing a suitable complementary food from local ingredients and educating households in nutrition and use of local products are feasible. Such education should come with measures aimed at improving the accessibility of some ingredients to ensure feasibility and sustainability.

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