Sensory properties and consumer acceptability of nutrient dense porridge from locally available foods for infants in Tanzania
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Childhood under nutrition during the first two years of life has been associated with irreversible harm and is linked to higher rates of morbidity, mortality, impaired cognitive ability and poor school performance in children. Low nutrient dense complementary foods are amongst the main causes of childhood malnutrition in developing countries. Thus, the use of locally available nutrient dense foods to improve infants nutrition is of considerable importance. A study to develop and assess sensory properties and consumer acceptability of nutrient dense porridge form locally available foods for infants in Tanzania was carried out in Morogoro region. Five formulations each containing soybeans, amaranth grains, pumpkin seeds and orange fleshed sweet potatoes (SAPO1-SAPO5) at different ratios were developed. The five developed formulations and two control samples were subjected to quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA) and consumer acceptability tests.With exception of oiliness, significant differences (p≤0.05) were observed between samples tested for all attributes. The formulated samples had significantly higher mean intensity scores of 5.4± 1.67-5.6±1.67 for aroma, 5.1 ±1.46 -7.0 ±1.44 for hue, 5.3±1.75 - 5.6±1.63 for sweetness and 4.2±1.85-4.6±1.98 for oiliness than control samples. Control samples had higher texture values than formulated samples. Consumer groups showed different acceptability for control and formulations. Mothers preffered control samples to formulations contrary to students who preferred formulated samples to control samples. Furthermore, all formulations had higher scores in aroma, sweetness and oiliness compared to control groups, thickness and grittiness were higher in control groups than formulations, while SAPO 3, 4 and 5 had higher scores of color hue than other samples. SAPO5 was the most accepted formulation by both mothers and students. This suggests that its ingredients ratio produced a most accepted product and hence it can be recommended for adoption.