Assessment of Protein Quality of Complementary Food Made from Maize (Zea mays) Supplemented with Crayfish (Euastacus spp) and Carrot (Daucus carota) Using Albino Rats

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N. N. Umerah
N. M. Oly- Alawuba
A. I. Asouzu
P. N. Ani
C. G. U. Oluah
C. O. Ezike


Background: Assessment of protein quality is aimed at determining the ability of a protein to meet up with the needs for maintenance, growth, pregnancy and lactation.

Objective: To evaluate the protein quality of complementary food made from local food blends using albino rats.

Methods: Maize, carrot, crayfish, milk and other ingredients were purchased, processed and used for the study. The maize, crayfish and carrot flours were blended in the ratio of 100:0:0, 70:25:5, 70:20:10, 70:15:15, 70:10:20 and 70:5:25 respectively. The six diets provided 10% protein for six groups of rats. The diets were fed to forty (40) weanling albino rats in a 21-day growth period and 7-days Nitrogen balance study. Milk was used as control and Nitrogen free diet was used for the estimation of endogenous nitrogen. The result generated were statistically analyzed using SPSS version 22.

Results: The result showed that over 70% of the nitrogen consumed by all the five groups of rats fed the mixed diets were absorbed and retained. Among the test diet groups, the 70:20:10 diet had the highest absorbed nitrogen (2.10 g), retained nitrogen (2.00 g), biological value (80%) and net protein utilization (77%) which was significantly different from the other groups. The 70:20:10 diet had the highest Total digestibility (94%), highest food intake (230g), weight gain (52.10%) and PER (2.7) that were comparable with the reference protein (milk) at (p>0.05). The mineral metabolism of all the rats fed the test diets were absorbed and retained.

Conclusion: The study revealed that complementary food of high protein quality and nutrient dense can be produced from blends of maize, carrot and crayfish. All the complementary food made from blends of maize, carrot and crayfish blend were of higher nutrient quality than the popular homemade complementary food made of maize alone. It is imperative that blends of local foods stuffs should be used as complementary food instead of only cereal in order to improve the nutritional status of a growing child and also curb prevalence of protein energy malnutrition that is common among under five.

Protein quality, complementary food, maize, carrot, crayfish

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How to Cite
Umerah, N. N., Alawuba, N. M. O.-, Asouzu, A. I., Ani, P. N., Oluah, C. G. U., & Ezike, C. O. (2020). Assessment of Protein Quality of Complementary Food Made from Maize (Zea mays) Supplemented with Crayfish (Euastacus spp) and Carrot (Daucus carota) Using Albino Rats. Asian Journal of Advanced Research and Reports, 12(3), 1-12.
Original Research Article


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