Magazine 2012
A Study on Storage and Acceptability  
Of Weaning Food  
Dr. Manjusha S. Molwane  
Joint Director of Higher Education Mumbai Region, Mumbai  
Introduction :  
India is one of the major developing countries in the world. According to recent census the population of India  
is 8443.24 lakhs, indeed infants and children contribute approximately 15-16% of total population. It has been  
reported that the Infant mortality rate has come down significantly from 114(1980) to 58(2004). Apart from  
neonatal deaths next issue is Malnutrition and Low birth weight baby. The high percentage of morbidity and  
mortality is therefore taken as index of severity and prevalence of malnutrition. Infections, lack of health care,  
unawareness of correct breast feeding practices , lack of inputs under BCC(behavior communication change),  
counseling on feeding child below six months, 6 months to 2 years, above 2 years etc.  
This research was purely intended to develop complementary food which can be used right from weaning the  
child. Also the food is developed from locally available indigenous foods and which is affordable for a common  
poor man. For counteracting the malnutrition, it is necessary to adopt well known and appropriate technology  
so that mothers can prepare it easily at home. Keeping all these points in mind four weaning foods are  
developed and its shelf life and acceptability study were also conducted so that weaning food can be used by  
Methodology : Wheat(Tritcum aestivum), Rice(Oryza sativa)and Jowar(Sorghum vulrage)and pulses Green  
gram(Phaseolus aureus,Roxb) and Moth bean(Phaseolus aconitifolius) were obtained and were soaked,  
germinated, dried ,roasted and pulverized by using standardized time for each process. various proportion of  
these cereals and pulses were tried to decide best combination in all respects.  
Result & Discussion :  
Nutritional composition of commercial and Home made weaning food formulations.  
The nutritional composition of home made weaning food formulations viz HMWF(G)with green gram and  
HMWF(M) with Moth Bean along with the commercial weaning foods ( viz Cerelac, a weaning food containing  
wheat and milk, and Nestum , a rice based weaning food devoid of milk) have been investigated. The result  
are presented in Table . The results indicated that the energy values of ( Cerelac and Nestum) the commercial  
weaning foods are comparatively higher than HMWF(G) and HMWF(M) in the present investigation. The results  
also revealed that the protein content of home made weaning food formulations viz HMWF(G) and HMWF(M)  
were found to be 14.34 and 14.45 per cent respectively. These values are quite comparable with the protein  
content value of cerelac (15.50 per cent) . However, it is noteworthy to mention that the protein content of other  
commercial weaning food (viz Nestum, a rice based) was found to be considerably low (6.0 per cent) . Similarly,  
the carbohydrate content of Nestum was found to be the highest (86.0 per cent) as compared to cerelac  
HMWF(G) and HMWF(M) developed in the laboratory. However, the dietary fiber content of HMWF(G) and  
HMWF(M) is comparable with the Nestum (2.70 per cent) However, the dietary fiber found to be almost equal  
to cerelac (2.7 per cent).On the contrary, the ash content of Nestum was very low (0.7 per cent). It can be seen  
from the results (Table 43) that phosphorus content of HMWF(G) and HMWF(M) comparatively lower than  
Cerelac (380mg/100g). However, it is observed that the iron content of Nestum was found to be the highest  
(18.5mg/100g). Thus , it can been seen from the data (Table 43) that the commercial weaning food investigated  
were found to be fortified with minerals and vitamins. According to walker , a well known nutritionist (1990), the  
home made weaning food formulations need not be fortified.  
Proximate Composition of Made Weaning Food Formulation using Processed b Cereals and  
Legumes Compared to the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) And ISI specification a  
Composition (%)  
Home made weaning food Formulations  
5:25:25:25 25:25:25:25 20:20:20:40 20:20:20:40  
Moisture (G/100 mg)  
Protein (g/100 gm)  
Total fat (g/100 gm)  
Total carbohydrates  
14.45+1.29 14.0n  
1.43+0.09 7.5 x 14.0 n  
56.86+2.09 45.0 n  
g/100 gm)  
Starch (g/100 gm)  
Ash (g/100 gm)  
5.0 x  
1.0 x  
Crude fibre (g/100 gm) 2.36+0.75  
Energy (Kcal)  
308.18+10.21 308.37+10.55 297.85+9.25 298.11+8.99 303 n  
The values are mean + SD of six determination.  
Germination followed by toasting.  
Wheat, R-Rice, MB b  Moth bean, J b  Jowar, GG b  Green gram, and  
x maximum and n- minimum.  
It is well documented that scientific methods of sensory analysis of foods are very important in assessing the  
acceptability of food products. Unless otherwise mentioned, the term flavor includes taste, smell and feeling  
on the tongue. The sense of taste is limited to 4 characteristics viz sweet, sour, salty and bitter. The term  
feeling or b textureb  in the present study used to refer consistency and granularity of the food product.  
A) Sensory Evaluation of HMWF(G) and HMWF(M) by Trained panelists ( Home Scientists) :  
Home made weaning food formulations made out of rice, jowar, wheat, green gram and /or moth bean (A,B,C,D)  
were compared with commercial weaning food formulation. The data on average of ranks given are presented  
in Table 44 with standard error, critical difference and F values.  
The Sample C scored the highest average when the colour of home made weaning formulations was compared  
with commercial weaning food- Cerelac. However, sample  
A-C as well as sample B b D were not found to differ significantly from each other. Similarly] the samples  
prepared from green gram scored significantly higher average than the samples containing moth bean.  
Flavour is another attribute of sensory evaluation. The sample A scored highest (3.41) average next ranked  
sample C (3.20) but the difference in these scores obtained was found to be statistically non significant.  
Samples B and D showed significantly lower acceptability than that of samples A and C.  
Cerelac scored highest average (3.70) for the textural characteristics. Samples A (2.87), B (2.84) and D (2.72)  
were not found to differ significantly from each other, whereas, sample C scored highest (3.53) among the  
developed weaning food formulations in the laboratory. It is important to note that the difference in the averages  
of score for Cerelac and sample C are not significantly different.  
As far as taste was concerned , home made weaning formulations A,B and C scored approximately similar  
ranks However, the sample D scored lowest (2.31) rank amongst developed formulations. The Cerelac was  
disliked relatively more as compared to home made weaning formulation for taste and scored average 1.40  
The scores obtained for appearance indicated that sample A and C were found to be significantly superior  
over samples B and D. However, Cerelac scored average of 3.51 which was highest among all the samples  
evaluated. However, this difference was not found to be very much significant to scores of sample A and D.  
The data indicated that the overall acceptability scores of weaning food formulation C was found to be the  
highest (3.32) average, and next ranked sample A (3.17). The scores obtained for samples B and D were not  
significantly different from the scores obtained for Cerelac.  
Thus , the result indicated that green gram incorporation was proved to be superior in all parameters (i.e.  
colour, flavour, taste and appearance) investigated in the present study. However, the attribute texture did not  
found to be affected by using either green gram or moth bean. The overall acceptability indicated that sample  
b Cb  composing of rice, wheat, jowar and green gram (1:1:1:2) was accepted by the trained panelist and scored  
significantly higher averages. Incorporation of moth bean instead of green gram was not accepted by the  
trained panelists.  
B) Sensory evaluation of Home Made Weaning Food by mothers:  
Mothers having atleast one child below 3-5 years age were taken as assessor. Similar ranking test was applied  
to evaluate the acceptability in general and the results are presented in Table . The sample C was most  
acceptable (3.04) in terms of colour, next ranked sample. A, whereas, sample B and D showed equal (2.72)  
levels of acceptability by mothers. These difference in the acceptability scores of sample C , sample A and  
Cerelac was not statistically significant.  
The average scores obtained for flavour were significantly higher for weaning food formulations A and  
C as compared to B and D. However, there was no significant difference in the sample A and sample C, so also  
in the sample B and sample D. Cerelac scored lowest (1.62) rank as far as flavour was concerned. The average  
score obtained for sample C was relatively more than all other samples tested. Nevertheless, the difference in  
the scores was nonsignificant. Sample C and Sample A showed better acceptability which was found to be  
significantly higher than that of sample B and sample D. Rohinidevi, (1990) studied the improvement of  
traditional weaning mixes. She found that addition of green gram dhal to the basic traditional receipe of  
SATTU was found to improve itb s acceptability significantly.  
Thus, the incorporation of green gram was found to be more acceptable than that of moth bean in weaning  
food formulations. Moreover, survey conducted for the present investigation also indicated that green gram  
was commonly used for the preparation of young childrenb s food. And , therefore, the sample C containing  
green gram as one of the ingredients, will be recommended as a weaning food formulation which will also be  
suitable to local food habits and feeding pattern.  
C) Acceptability of Home made weaning formulation after interviewing the mothers:  
Those mothers, who fed the Home Made Weaning food Formulation to their babies under the experimental  
group for a period of three 3 months, were interviewed by administering a questionnaire to them in order to  
evaluate the acceptability of HMWF.  
The mothers reported that the babies accepted the food likingly (33.00 per cent). Some mothers said that the  
HMWF was accepted by their babies easily (26.40 per cent) without any hesitation. 33.00% mothers mentioned  
that for first two days the child made fuss to eat HMWF, but later he accepted it. Out of 15 mothers only one  
mother mentioned that she had to feed HMWF to the child with some force.  
All mothers (100%) opined that the weaning food prepared in the laboratory was found to be the right food for  
their babies. The nutritional composition also revealed that it was very nutritious (79.20 per cent) , tasty  
66.00per cent), cheap (6.60 per cent).  
One of the mother out of 15 interviewed , opined that the cooking of weaning formulation was difficult. The  
result also indicated that 13 mothers expressed that it should be made available to us all the time.  
Nevertheless, it was observed that all mothers were ready to prepare the HMWF at their home. In the present  
study, efforts were made to enquire about the improvement in the growth of their infants after feeding the  
HMWF. The results revealed that the mothers (66 per cent) accepted wholeheartedly that feeding of HMWF was  
found to be very much beneficial in improving the health of their babies. However, mothers (19.80 per cent) did  
not give any specific comments. Moreover, some of the mothers (13.20 per cent) opined that their babies  
found to be normal. The results also indicated that most of the mothers ( 65.80 per cent ) opined that their  
infants preferred to eat HMWF completely, however, some of the mothers (13.20 per cent) claimed that their  
infants refused to consume HMWF completely.  
Those mothers who were given HMWF to feed their children, they were already feeding some food or other  
foods to their babies viz Rice- water (59.40) , Dhal-water (26.40 per cent) , vegetable soup (13.20 per cent) ,  
and Fruits (13.20 per cent).  
In the beginning of the feeding experiment, all mothers were offered the HMWF in semi liquid form, later as the  
child got accustomed to eat the same, the quantity of HMWF powder was increased and the consistency was  
also made thick. 92.40 percent mothers opined that their child did not suffer from any gastro intestinal disorder  
like stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea etc. However, only one mother mentioned that her child was suffering  
from stomach ache for a day after consumption of HMWF.  
Acceptability of Recipe :  
There appeared to be no published record on any standardized procedure which can be adopted to judge  
whether a given recipe is acceptable or not. The following two sets of criteria were, therefore, used to determine  
acceptability of recipe.  
a) Acceptability of children : The acceptability trial revealed that only one child refused to accept the food  
when the HMWF was given to the experimental subjects. Hence, the investigator shifted to other child to  
make the number of subjects in experimental group as 15. It can be conceived that only 6.66 per cent children  
refused the food. In a day when 20 gm of HMWF powder was cooked in milk and fed to the children; the  
protein content was 6.37 gm and calories content 256Kcal. It was observed that as the activity increases, age  
grows, and child gets accustomed to HMWF, the quantity of the food to be fed was increased and thereby the  
nutrients supplied to the child was increased. Thus, both the criteria laid by ICMR ( series no.21) were met by  
the HMWF.  
b) Criteria for acceptability by mothers :1) Mothers should like the taste of the receipe 2) Methods of  
preparation should be every simple and should not consume more than 15 minutes and 3 ) P r e p a r a t i o n  
should remain in good condition without developing any off flavour.  
c) Criteria for acceptability by children ( ICMR Tech . Rep Series 1974 as under) :  
The percentage of children who refuse the recipe should not exceed 25 percent and the child should be able  
to consume the recipe in amounts which would provide about 30 Kcal and 6 to 8 gm protein. Unless Otherwise  
mentioned , this amount should be in addition to their regular diet Studies on overall acceptability of both  
home made weaning food formulations viz HMWF(G) and HMWF(M) during storage have been carried out.  
The results are presented in fig 1. It is evident from the data on overall acceptability of HMWF(G) and HMWF(M)  
during storage using various containers that plastic containers and polyethylene bags were found to be better  
in retaining the organoleptic attributes as compared to glass containers. It is interesting to note that tin  
containers were not found to be the promising storage media for both the weaning food formulations.  
Figure 1  
Effect of storage on Acceptability of Home made Weaning Food :  
Malleshi and Coworkers (1989) reported that the flavours of malted weaning food was found to retain well for (  
0 days) in LDPE b HDPE pouches and upto 120 days in laminates, without any deterioration in sensory  
characteristics. Mehta, (1989) also claimed that the weaning food formulation containing maize, green gram  
and ARF is ingredients can be successfully stored for a period of 30 days without deteriorating any organoleptic  
Germinated grains and legumes were further roasted and found nonsignificant decrease in protein, fats ash  
content etc. The four weaning food formulations were developed with moth bean and green gram. Home made  
weaning formulations prepared out of green gram was found to contain more essential amino acids. Digestibility  
of developed home made weaning food formulations was found to improve considerably. The nutrient  
composition of sample C was comparable to ISI specifications as well commercial non milk weaning foods.  
Also the viscosity of the home made weaning food formulation developed was acceptable and found to exhibit  
permitted limits of viscosity.  
Effect of storage on acceptability of HMWF was assessed, by using score card techniques on 4 point scale.  
Study revealed that, the acceptability of HMWF stored in glass bottle was more whereas no significant difference  
in the scores obtained for glass and tin. When critical difference was calculated. The scores indicate that the  
HMWF is safe for consumption if stored in glass, plastic and tin containers. Chandrasekhar et al also found  
polythene bags as suitable media for storage of weaning food.  
b "
b "
Walker AF(1990) The contribution of waning foods to protein energy malnutrition Nut Res Rev 3: 25 -47  
Rohinidevi, Boralkar MA and Hamadapurkar VA (1990) Nutritional improvement of a traditional weaning  
food mix (satty). Food Nutr Bull 12 : 323 b  324  
b "
b "
Malleshi NG, Balsubramanyam N Indiramma AR, Baldev RR and Desikachar HSR (1989) Packaging and  
storage studies on malted ragi and green gram based weaning food. J Fd Sci Tech 26:68-71  
Mehta P, Patel P and Parikh N (1989) Studies on weaning grueb from maize (zea mays) and green gram  
Phaseolns aureus Roxb) dhal Part II Effect of fermentation and malting on physic-chemical changes, bulk  
reduction property and suitability for children belonging to maize eating population,Ind J Nutr Diete 26:  
b "
b "
Chandrasekhara N and Balsubramanyam N(1982) Moisture sorption and storage studies of weaning food,  
Ind Fd Packer 6 : 77-83  
Chandrasekhar U, Bhooma N and Reddy S (1988) Evaluation of a malted weaning food based on low cost  
locally available foods. Ind Nutr. Dietet 25: 37-43