Cassava-soy weaning food: Biological evaluation and effects on rat organs

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Weaning food was formulated using a cassava product, `Tapioca' (TAP), supplemented with roasted – sprouted soybeans (SS), with and without additional (10%) malted sorghum flour (MS). Biological evaluation was carried out on the formulations using 4–5 week old weanling albino rats, with Cerelac (a commercial maize-milk weaning food) as the control diet. There were increases in growth rate of rats fed with both the test and control diets. There were no significant (p > 0.05) differences between the test diets and control diet in true digestibility values. The biological value (BV) and net protein utilization (NPU) values for the formulated diets were above the recommended minimum values. The weight of organs (small intestine, pancreas, liver and heart) of rats fed TAP + SS and TAP + SS + MS based diets were not higher than those of organs of rats fed Cerelac. It was concluded that cassava products could potentially be employed successfully in the preparation of weaning foods of comparable quality to available commercial brands.

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