Background: Protein-energy malnutrition is a major health challenge attributed on the inappropriate complementary feeding practice. Therefore the study was aimed at formulating a complementary food based on maize and bambara groundnut with a view of reducing malnutrition in low income families.
Methods: The blends 70% maize, 30% bambara groundnut were biochemically evaluated for proximate, minerals, amino acids profile, antinutritional factors, using proprietary formula (âNutrendâ) as standard. The microbiological property was determined using standard methods.
Results: For Protein, the results were 15.0% for roasted bambara groundnut maize germinated flour (RBMGF), 13.80% for boiled bambara groundnut maize germinated flour (BBMGF), 15.18% for soaked bambara groundnut maize germinated flour (SBMGF) ; values for maize flour and nutrend had 10.4% and 23.21% respectively. The percentages of total essential amino acids in the composition of the blends were 36.9%, 40.7% and 38.9% for BBMGF, SBMGF and RBMGF. The mineral content, that is, calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium, of formulated samples were higher than those obtained for maize flour and Nutrend (P<0.05). The antinutrient composition of RBMGF and BBMGF were lower than of SBMGF. Boiling, sprouting, roasting, dehulling and fermentation significantly decreased the tannins and trypsin inhibitors levels. For the microbial status, microflora gradually changed from Gram negative enteric bacteria such as E. coli, Klebsiella sp and E. aerogenes, molds such as Aspergillus niger and Penicillium citrinum, lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii and yeast, such as Saccharomyces cerevisae to be dominated by Gram positive lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts.
Conclusion: The application of bambara groundnut fortification to traditional foods can promote the nutritional quality of African maize – based traditional foods with acceptable rheological and cooking qualities.