Promotion of composite flour for local recipes with locally available cereals, legumes and tubers for income generation and household nutrition
About the project
UK-registered Partner: University of Reading – Jane Parker
Africa-registered Partner: International Crop Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) – Hakeem Ayinde
Millets (which include sorghum) have traditionally been the staples of Nigeria and West Africa, yet their cultivation and consumption are in decline, as the relatively nutrient-poor grains such as rice, wheat and maize (generally lower in protein, zinc and iron) provide a convenient alternative. This contributes to the poor nutrient status of the population, the continuing high levels of anaemia and the stunting of growth in children.
The aim of this project was to redress this shift in diet by providing palatable composite flours based on iron-rich sorghum varieties, with incorporation of high protein soy flour and cassava flour to improve the taste. Composites were used to prepare two local recipes i) tuwo – a thick porridge, with a dumpling-like consistency, and ii) koko – a thin porridgelike drink.
Through a series of consumer tests, initially locally and finally across six states in Nigeria, four palatable sorghum-based composites were identified, providing increased food choice and potential health benefits. Although the purchase intent was highest for 100% sorghum (similar protein content to maize but elevated levels of iron), other composites including soy and cassava had very similar scores for liking, of which the 70:30 sorghum:soy composite provided the most nutritional enhancement, doubling protein concentration and enhancing iron and zinc by 35 and 63% respectively compared to 100% sorghum.
These new composites have been promoted in local women’s groups and local industries to not only encourage their consumption, but to engage local women to start up small scale processing to increase household income.
Learn more about the project in this recording from our recent GCRF AgriFood Africa Project Showcase event.