Nutr Res Pract.  2012 Oct;6(5):381-388.

Protein quality, hematological properties and nutritional status of albino rats fed complementary foods with fermented popcorn, African locust bean, and bambara groundnut flour blends

  • 1Department of Food Science and Technology (Human Nutrition Division), Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria.
  • 2Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.


The objective of this study was to determine protein quality and hematological properties of infant diets formulated from local food materials. The food materials were obtained locally, fermented, and milled into flour. The flours were mixed as 70% popcorn and 30% African locust bean (FPA), 70% popcorn and 30% bambara groundnut (FPB), and 70% popcorn, 20% bambara groundnut, and 10% African locust bean (FPAB). Proximate analysis, protein quality, hematological properties, and anthropometric measurements of the animals fed with the formulations were investigated. The protein contents of the formulated diets were significantly higher than that of Cerelac (a commercial preparation) (15.75 +/- 0.01 g/100 g) and ogi (traditional complementary food) (6.52 +/- 0.31 g/100 g). The energy value of FPAB (464.94 +/- 1.22 kcal) was higher than those of FPA (441.41 +/- 3.05 kcal) and FPB (441.48 +/- 3.05 kcal). The biological value (BV) of FPAB (60.20%) was the highest followed by FPB (44.24%) and FPA (41.15%); however, BV of the diets was higher than that of ogi (10.03%) but lower than that of Cerelac (70.43%). Net protein utilization (NPU) of the formulations was 41.16-60.20%, whereas true protein digestibility was 41.05-60.05%. Metabolizable energy (232.98 kcal) and digestible energy (83.69 kcal) of FPAB were the highest, whereas that of FPA had the lowest values. The protein digestibility values corrected for amino acid score of the diets (0.22-0.44) were lower than that of Cerelac (0.52), but higher than that of ogi (0.21). The growth patterns and hematological properties (packed cell volume, red blood cells, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, and mean corpuscular volume) of the formulated diets were higher than those of ogi, but lower than those of Cerelac. In conclusion, we established that the FPAB food sample was rated best in terms of protein quality over the other formulated diets. Therefore, a FPAB blend may be used as a substitute for ogi.


Complementary foods; protein quality; hematological properties

MeSH Terms

Cell Size
Erythrocyte Indices
Nutritional Status
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