Approximately 38% of Tanzanian children have vitamin A deficiency (VAD), and the majority of them do not have access to vitamin A-fortified foods. Orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP), a new crop in Tanzania, is rich in β-carotene, and could be a cheaper solution for VAD. The objectives of this study were to develop a type of Ugali (stiff maize porridge) fortified with OFSP, to correlate its β-carotene content (using colour measurement), and to assess its proximate composition and consumer acceptability. Ugali was prepared using maize flour with various amounts of added OFSP (0, 30, 50, 70 and 100%). Samples of Ugali with more OFSP had higher colour values (a* and b*) that imply the increase in β-carotene as the OFSP amount increased. The proximate compositions of Ugali with different amounts of OFSP were different (P<0.05). All samples that were made with the mixture of OFSP and maize flour have shown to have higher sensory scores than those with 100% maize or 100% OFSP; Ugali with 50% OFSP was most favourably rated by Tanzanian consumers. This sample was selected as a potential possibility for everyday consumption since it was shown to potentially supply more than 50% of the RDA of provitamin A for a specific age group. This supplementation method may be simple, affordable, and effective in reducing VAD in Tanzania.
Key words: β-carotene, colour parameters, proximate composition, total carotenoids.
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