Functional, anti-nutritional and sensory acceptability of taro-and soybean based weaning food were investigated. Three weaning diets (A,B,C) each differing in the ratio of taro and soybean seed flours were formulated and fortified with vitamin mixture and sucrose. The diets were assayed for functional, anti-nutritional and organoleptic properties. Results showed that the levels of the anti-nutrients were significantly lower (p < 0.05) in diet A (Taro: 50.2%, soybean; 36%), than diets B (Taro; 46.2%, soybean; 40%) and C (Taro; 60%, soybean; 26.2%). Diet A was not significantly different (p < 0.05) from the Reference. Swelling index, water absorption capacity, and bulk density were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in diet A than in diets B, C and Reference. Diet A was most acceptable (p < 0.05) to the panelists and there was no significant different (p < 0.05) with Reference. The results showed that Diet A had the desired characteristics of a weaning food, hence could be used as low-cost weaning food to provide sufficient nutrients and energy for a growing child.
Key words: Functional anti-nutrients, sensory properties, water absorption, swelling index, weaning food.
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