Most complementary foods used for children in Tanzania are low in energy and nutrient content. In addition, they may contain contaminants such as mycotoxins and also antinutritional factors. The aim of this study was to determine nutritional quality of quality protein maize-based supplementary foods and levels of mycotoxins (fumonisins, aflatoxins) and antinutritional factors (phytates, tannins). Three composite diets were prepared from quality protein maize namely; quality protein maize-soybeans; quality protein maize-soybeans-common beans and quality protein maize-soybeans-cowpeas. The fourth and fifth diets were prepared from plain quality protein maize and plain common maize. The formulations were made to meet the greatest amino acid scores and the desired amount of energy and protein according to the FAO/WHO (1985) recommendation for pre-school children. Concentrations of energy, protein, amino acid, aflatoxins, fumonisins, phytates and tannins were determined by standard methods. Quality protein maize-soybeans-common beans and quality protein maize-soybeans-cowpeas met RDA for both energy (360 kcal/100 g) and protein (16 g/100 g) for children aged 2-5 years. The amino acid scores for QPM-based diets were higher than the recommended scores (≥65%) for supporting optimal growth of children. Concentrations of fumonisin B1 and total fumonisin were 1687.82 and of 1717.16 μg/kg in quality protein maize and 1625.08 and 1745.22 μg/kg in plain common maize, respectively. These values were above the maximum tolerable limit of 1000 μg/kg recommended by the European commission. Efforts such as good agricultural practices and proper processing of food ingredients by sorting, dehulling and washing are recommended to reduce concentrations of fumonisins in maize grains.
mycotoxins, soybeans, beans, cowpeas, tannin, phytate, extrusion-cooking, children, Tanzania
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