Diets of Fish-Based Recipes for the Under-Five Children, First 1000 Days of Life, and Adolescents in Malawi - Abstract
The nutrient profiles of small fish species were used in the formulation of children’s diets in Malawi which conformed to minimum food standards stipulated by WHO. This could be a panacea for the reduction of malnutrition and stunting among children during their first 1000 days of growth, if well promoted. Apart from satisfying nutrient requirements, these new diets were found to be organoleptically and physically acceptable. There is need to develop and test diets for these vulnerable groups in Malawi, so far only soya bean based recipes are locally available. Meanwhile, this adds value to low quality fish species like Usipa (Engraulicypris sardella), Utaka (Copadichromis) and Matemba (Barbus) commonly found in local markets, whose significant quantities are going to waste. The fish recipes could serve as substitutes for imported food formulas. Biscuits were fortified by incorporating 5% or 7% fish powders from Usipa and Utaka, respectively, processed from either solar dried or solar dried plus roasting or parboiled fish powder. Incorporating fish powders in biscuits greatly increased micronutrient content; roasted Utaka containing 5% fish powder increased zinc by 6.1%, iron 511%, calcium 29.8% and magnesium 33.5%. Roasting and parboiling affected the intensities of sensory properties of fishy flavor, colour and shininess. Meanwhile, roasting reduced fishy flavour and increased intensity of brownness resulting in higher mean scores to 2.90 (7%) and 3.05 (5%), in biscuits enriched with powder from Utaka. The intensity of shininess of biscuits was reduced regardless of the type of fish powder being incorporated. Parboiling of Usipa reduced bitterness in biscuits registering an intensity of 1.65. Overall, consumer’s prefered biscuits enriched with 7% fish powder of roasted Utaka (4.03) and 7% fish powder of parboiled roasted Usipa (3.90) and 5 % fish powder of roasted Utaka (3.90). The shef-life of biscuits was estimated to be about 5 months. Fish sausages made from fresh fish and dried fish of Usipa and Utaka were significantly different (p<0.05) in moisture content from sausages made from fresh fish and dry fish. Protein content was higher in sausages made from Usipa than from Utaka, while fat content was higher in sausages made from fresh fish than from dry fish. Sausages of dry Usipa and Utaka were shinier by 3.50 and 3.77, respectively, compared to sausages from fresh Usipa and Utaka. Dry fish produced sausages with higher brownness intensities of 3.83 (Usipa) and 3.97 (Utaka); they carried a tingling odour, absorbed more oil and were grainier. Sausages from dry and fresh fish and stored at 40 C had a shelf-life of 24 hours and 12 hours, respectively. Sausages made from dry fish and fresh fish kept at ambient temperatures had a much reduced shelf life of 12 hours and 6 hours.