Interventions to improve the complementary feeding practices of infants and young children in Indonesia are a public health priority. Desiccated beef powder presents an accessible and affordable home-based fortification approach. The overall aim was to conduct a series of sensory acceptability studies of four different study powders: beef liver powder, beef meat powder, a blend of beef liver and meat powder, and placebo, in breastfed children 12-24 months (n=96) in West Java, Indonesia.
The study was a four-arm crossover design where children were randomized to one of four powders over four test days and then assigned to one study powder for a 2-week home trial period. Data collection included product likeability (colour, smell, taste, texture), amount consumed, and focus group sessions.
Mothers liking of the food with added powders was generally high with average attribute scores ranging from 5.3 to 6.0 on a 7-point scale. During the home trial, nearly two-thirds of the powders were added to foods. The amount of each powder increased in the second study week compared with the first week. Similarly, mothers perception of child liking increased significantly from week 1 to week 2 for all study powders (p<0.05) with the exception of placebo (p=0.2). Focus groups revealed that the most negative attribute associated with the powders was the presence of a fishy odour. Nonetheless, 86% of mothers indicated that they would be willing to purchase the powder.
In general, the study powders were well-liked and product development efforts are underway to minimize the fishy odour.