Traditional complementary foods are mainly based on cereal grains which when cooked get gelatinized and swollen thereby making the diet viscous and bulky for infants and young children. This study was carried out to investigate the effect of fermentation, germination, and roasting methods on the functional properties of maize-millet-soybean mix with a view to producing less bulky and nutrient dense complementary food. Fermented, germinated, roasted, and untreated (control) grains were dried in an air oven at 55°C for 48 h to 10% moisture content, milled and sieved separately into fine flours (450 microns). Four complementary food samples were formulated and analyzed for wettability, dispersibility, water absorption capacity, swelling power, solubility index and pasting properties. Results showed that fermentation, germination, or roasting methods significantly (p<0.05) affect functional property of the complementary food samples. The swelling power of fermented sample was higher, while solubility of germinated sample was higher than other samples. The water absorption capacity of the complementary food samples ranged from 1.27 in germinated maize-millet-soybean to 1.61 in control sample. Fermented sample had the highest peak, trough and final viscosities, while germinated sample had the least. The study showed that germination significantly reduced water holding capacity and swelling power of the complementary food, and is recommended for producing nutrient dense complementary from maize-millet-soybean mix.
Key words: Complementary food, gelatinize, functional property, processing method.
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