Studies on weaning diets in Nigeria: 2 protein sources


Protein isolates were extracted from melon, groundnut, and soybean cakes in an aqueous system that could potentially yield both oil and protein from oilseeds quantitatively. Protein isolates obtained were 91.2, 78.6 and 79.5% of the total protein content of melon, groundnut and soybean cakes respectively. Both cakes and isolates were assessed in a rat bioassay while breadfruit, cassava, and corn starch were also investigated as sources of carbohydrate. Results showed that there were no significant differences between feed intake, weight gain and PER of rats fed the cake and the protein isolates except in soybean. Weight gain, PER and NPR were highest in cassava-soybean protein isolate diet followed by cassavacasein diet (control) while performance was only moderate with melon- and groundnutcassava diets. With melon protein isolate, cassava and breadfruit were better carbohydrate sources than corn starch. In simulated weaning diets, cassava-sucrose-melon-soybean protein isolate based diet performed better (weight gain 33.4 g, PER 1.63, NPR 2.23) than a commercial weaning food (weight gain 30.6 g PER 1.57, NPR 2.18) while replacement of sucrose and cassava at 30% by breadfruit yielded a cost effective diet with good performance (weight gain 29.4 g, PER 1.51, NPR 2.12). Diets where soybean protein served as the sole source of protein or breadfruit, white and yellow maize ‘ogi’ served as the main source of carbohydrate performed only moderately.

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Adewusi, S.R.A., Orisadare, B.O. & Oke, O.L. Studies on weaning diets in Nigeria: 2 protein sources. Plant Food Hum Nutr 42, 183–192 (1992).

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Key words

  • oilseed protein isolates
  • cassava
  • breadfruit
  • bioassay