Flours of soya bean (variety: Anidaso), groundnut (variety: Chinese) and rice (variety:Jasmine 85) were mixed to obtain a weaning diet. The material balance method was used in obtaining the proportions of flours for mixing with 16% protein and 9% fat as the constraints (targets). The proximate nutrients, mineral concentrations and sensory qualities of the formulated diet were compared with cerevita, a commercial diet with vanillin and cinnamon flavour. Though, the formulated diet was superior in terms of protein and energy content, sensory evaluation showed that the formulated diet was less preferred (p < 0.05) than cerevita. Unlike the cerevita, the formulated diet did not have a strong vanillin flavour and this contributed to its lower sensory scores. There was significant improvement (p < 0.05) in the overall acceptability of the formulated diet upon the addition of calculated amounts of cinnamon and vanillin. The high protein content (15.87%) and the high amount of energy (412.82 kCal/100 g) supplied by the formulated diet suggest that it can be used as a low-cost weaning diet in initiatives designed to reduce protein-energy malnutrition.
Key words: Weaning diet, proximate nutrients, formulated diet, vanillin, cinnamon, sensory qualities.
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