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Fatty acid, amino acid and trace mineral analysis of five weaning foods from Jos, Nigeria.

Fernandez-DR; VanderJagt-DJ; Williams-M; Huang-Y-S; Chuang-L-T; Millson-M; Andrews-R; Pastuszyn-A; Glew-RH
Plant Foods Hum Nutr 2002 Sep; 57(3-4):257-274
Five plant-based weaning foods (WF) (Dietrend, Jot-M, Soy, Ang and Vic-T) locally prepared in Jos, Nigeria were analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography, reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography, and atomic emission spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma to determine their fatty acid (FA), amino acid, and trace mineral contents, respectively. Results of these direct analyses were compared to expected values derived from food composition tables prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additionally, results were compared against recommended nutrient values, using breast milk as the standard for FA content and recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for amino acid and mineral contents. The overall nutritional value of the five WF varied considerably and the quantities of particular nutrients determined by direct analysis differed markedly from those estimated using USDA food tables. Comparison of WF fatty acid composition relative to the RDA recommendations and a human milk standard revealed a much higher proportion of both linoleic (35-55 wt%) and alpha-linolenic acids (1%-7 wt%) relative to human milk lipids (11%-12% and 0.8%-0.9% wt, respectively); however, the WF were devoid of arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Soy contained the highest amounts of linoleic acid (59.7 mg/g) and alpha-linolenic acid (7.46 mg/g) compared to the other four WF (10.2-41.0 and 0.35-3.18 mg/g, respectively). The linoleic acid/alpha-linolenic acid ratio was within the recommended range (5:1 to 10:1) in only Jot-M (10:1) and Soy (8:1). Dietrend, Vic-T and Ang, contained linoleic/alpha-linolenic ratios of 12:1, 29:1, and 82:1, respectively. The Soy weaning food would provide the most protein (24.3 g/day), based on an estimated daily intake of 65 g of weaning food by a normal six-month-old infant, compared to Jot-M (11.9 g/day), Dietrend (11.7g/day), Ang (8.07 g/day) and Vic-T (7.26 g/day). The protein RDA for children up to 1 year of age is 13-14 g/day. Comparison of the mineral contents of the WF to the RDAs for various minerals indicated that all five would provide suboptimal amounts of calcium (16 to 250 mg/day) and zinc (1.42 to 3.56 mg/day) compared to respective RDAs of400 mg/day and 5 mg/day. These data show that the Soy weaning food is an excellent source of linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, as well as being a good source of high quality protein. Jot-M and Dietrend provide useful amounts of the essential FA; however, it is advisable to reevaluate the composition of Ang and Vic-T to find ways to improve the linoleic/alpha-linolenic ratio of each and increase their total protein content. These results document the shortcomings of using published food composition tables based on foods in America when devising weaning foods based on ingredients in another part of the world.
Fatty-acids; Amino-acids; Food; Nutrition; Nutritional-disorders; Demographic-characteristics; Trace-substances; Trace-analysis
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Journal Article
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Plant Foods for Human Nutrition
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division