Fruit consumption is still a challenge in many parts of Africa, and hence micronutrient deficiency continues to be a serious problem in the continent. This study was conducted between December 2017 and May 2018 in Chinoje and Mzula villages in Chamwino district, Dodoma to assess availability of fruit, consumption, storage practices and nutrient content. People responsible for food preparation were interviewed from 345 randomly selected households by using semi-structured and food frequency questionnaires. Multiple logistic regression model was used to determine the relationship between frequency of fruit consumption and household socio-economic features by using SPSS. Laboratory analysis was conducted to determine nutrient content of baobab, which was the most consumed fruit. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to determine if significant variations existed in the nutritional quality of baobab fruit by using SAS. Only 35% of the households consumed fruit daily, while the majority consumed fruit from one to three days in a week. Monthly income, household size and headship significantly affected fruit consumption at p<0.05. Most of the baobab fruits were stored in polypropylene sacks (77.4%), followed by plastic buckets (3.3%) and others as shelled fruit (18.4%). Significant losses in Vitamin C and total carotenoids were observed in baobab fruits that were stored in sacks. Storage of baobab fruit in plastic bucket is recommended for quality maintenance of nutrients.
Key words: Fruit availability, consumption, micronutrients, food frequency, storage.
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