PROXIMATE ANALYSIS AND SENSORY EVALUATION OF INFANT WEANING FOOD PRODUCED WITH COMPOSITE FLOUR OF SORGHUM (Sorghum bicolor), MELON (Citrullus colocynth L) AND FLUTED PUMPKIN (Telfairiaoccidentalis)
Keywords:Sorghum, Melon, Fluted pumpkin, Proximate, Sensory, Weaning
Infancy is one of the most critical nutritional periods of life cycle. From age of six months, known as weaning period, an infant’s need for energy and nutrients is provided through complementary foods with nutritional balanced contents. This paper therefore set out to formulate low cost, nutritive infant weaning food using sorghum, melon and fluted pumpkin. Basically the paper determined the proximate and sensory attributes of weaning foods made from composite flour of sorghum, so as to verify its adaptability for household consumption especially for low income earners. The foods were produced by the inclusion of pumpkin seed and melon seed flours to sorghum to form blends ranging from 10% to 20% inclusion of the test flours both separately and in combined forms. Laboratory analysis of the produced weaning foods showed general preference for sample 815 (60:20:20 sorghum, melon and pumpkin) based on a ten-man sensory panelists’ assessment. Similarly, the functional properties indicated significant differences in the water absorption capacity, bulk density, gelation temperature, swelling index, foaming capacity and wettability. Nutritionally, the protein content ranged from 14.53% to 20.9% while the fat content ranged from 3.40% to 16.5%. Ash content and moisture content ranged from 2.31% to 3.11% and 9.64% to 9.87% respectively. Generally, the combination of sorghum, melon and pumpkin seed at 6:20:20 ratio gave the most acceptable blend and was therefore adopted as the best. The study therefore recommended that the blend should be adopted at both domestic and higher levels for weaning of infants.