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Cow Pea

  • Date Submitted: 02/26/2012 01:10 AM
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African Journal of Food Science Vol. 4(4), pp. 136-142, April 2010 Available online http://www.acadjourn.org/ajfs ISSN 1996-0794 © 2010 Academic Journals

Full Length Research paper

Effect of fortification of maize with cowpea and iron on growth and anaemia status of children
Theodosia Adom1, Matilda Steiner-Asiedu2*, Esther Sakyi-Dawson2 and Alex K. Anderson3
Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Accra, Ghana. Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana. 3 Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, Georgia, USA.
2 1

Accepted 5 March, 2010

Iron and iron deficiency anaemia is of concern globally, and most vulnerable are children and women. In Ghana, after six months of age when breast milk is not enough, children are given cereal-based gruels which are poor in nutrients. Addition of cowpea to maize improved nutrient quality but not enough to meet iron needs. We investigated the effect of iron-fortified maize-cowpea blend in controlling iron deficiency anaemia in a high risk population. Fifty-six children aged 6 - 18 months in two peri-urban communities were randomly assigned (i) iron-fortified food or (ii) non-iron fortified food, fed daily for six months. Haemoglobin concentration (Hb), serum iron, total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), transferrin saturation, weight, length and mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) were measured at baseline and at the end of intervention. Generally, growth improved in the iron fortified group over the control group. Iron status was improved in the test group. Significant differences were observed in haemoglobin concentration (1.08±1.43 compared with -0.40±1.72 g/dL, p=0.0009), and the risk of developing anaemia was about 3 times less likely among this group compared to the non-fortified group. The children liked the diets, and preparation did not create an additional burden for mothers. Use of cowpeas and maize are within the socio-cultural context of the people,...

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