Development of a drinkable, peanut-based therapeutic food.
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Malnutrition plays a major role in child morbidity and mortality. Its prevalence in Uganda continues to be an area of public concern. High ingredient costs continue to hamper local production of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods. Development of formulations without milk, the most expensive ingredient, is one way of reducing cost. This study developed a ready-to-drink, peanut-based, therapeutic food that matched the nutrient composition of F100, using plant sources. Least cost formulations with a similar nutrient profile to F100 were designed using computer formulation software. The ingredients used were peanuts, beans, sesame, cowpeas and grain amaranth. Three formulations namely, A, B, and C were processed. After pre-processing, milling and addition of water, the ingredients were hydrolysed at 40 °C for 4 hours. Amylases from amaranth malted for 48 hours achieved 70 – 84 % starch hydrolysis. Addition of 1 % Bromelain to the mixture led to 55 – 61 % protein hydrolysis. Sterilization of the therapeutic food in glass jars in an autoclave gave non- detectable total plate and yeast and mould counts. A 100 g of therapeutic food was able to provide 101 – 111 Kcal, 5 g protein and 5.3 – 6.5 g fat. Products B and C were liked (extremely and moderately) by 65 and 62 % of mothers of young children five years and below. These results suggest that nutrient dense therapeutic foods formulated from only plant sources have the potential to be used in the rehabilitation phase of the management of malnourished children.