Enhancing the Nutritional Quality of Vegetable Amaranth through Specific Food Preparation Methods


  •  Winnie A. Nyonje    
  •  Ray-Yu Yang    
  •  Wan-Jen Wu    
  •  Anselimo O. Makokha    
  •  Willis O. Owino    
  •  Mary O. Abukutsa-Onyango    

Abstract

Food preparation methods applied to African traditional vegetables vary greatly depending on preferences of various consumers. Vegetable amaranth is one of the most preferred vegetable, with high nutritional quality. The bioaccessibility of some minerals such as iron is, however, low since it is non-heme, and is also bound by anti-nutrients such as oxalates. This study aimed at evaluating the nutrient retention of amaranth vegetable dishes prepared using selected Kenyan traditional recipes, and to enhance the iron bioavailability of amaranth dishes using food preparation methods. Nutrient retentions of amaranth prepared by three common food methods were analyzed. In-vitro iron bioavailability of amaranth dishes with or without bioavailability enhancers as well as an amaranth meal incorporating a common maize meal staple food was also studied. The nutrient retentions of the various dishes used in this study was fairly high with at least 85% retention of minerals and an increase of up to 45% in three carotenoids. It can be concluded that incorporating vitamin C, adding an iron rich vegetable and boiling of the vegetable significantly improves the iron bioavailability and hence improves the iron uptake by the body. Incorporating lemon juice enhanced dialysable iron of the selected recipe by up to 66%. There was no significant (P≤0.05) effect by the amaranth components on the iron bioavailability of ugali. These methods could therefore be incorporated into household recipes to increase micronutrient intake.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0887
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0895
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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