COMPARATIVE STUDY OF INFANT FORMULA PRODUCED FROM LOCALLY SOURCED MATERIALS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Infants have a crucial period in their lives which is the weaning period. At the age of 5-6 months, most infants begin to eat supplementary foods, because their digestive system is not well developed to digest solid foods. At this stage homogenized infant foods play a major role in their nutrition (Martinez et al, 2004). Weaning foods in developing country like Nigeria are relatively expensive and out of reach of majority of the people, this may results in malnutrition and also it can pose health risk to the life of the child, particularly if the parents are low income earners. Malnutrition is a major health problem in developing countries and contributes to infant’s mortality, poor physical and intellectual development of infants, as well as lowered resistance to disease and consequently stifles development. Protein energy malnutrition generally occurs; during the crucial transitional phase from liquid to semi solid foods, during this phase infants needs nutritionally balance, calorie dense supplementary foods in addition to the mothers breast milk due to increase in nutritional demands of the growing body of the infants.(Cameroon et al, 2003). Thus infant’s food plays major role in the all round growth, development and mental health of children. Most infant formulas sold in Nigeria market today are mainly produced from cereal grain, the cereal contribute to about 42% of the calories and 49% of the total protein (Keshinro et al, 1993). The corn - based products are usually in the form of porridge such as pap. Wet sieving and steeping have considerable effect on the protein content of the weaning food for infants (Banigo and Muller, 1972). This loss of an appropriate proportion of original nutrient content of pap during production led to the development of soy pap. Soy bean is often in short supply in some regions and out of the reach of people with low income; this has led to an increased in the cost of soy bean weaning food production therefore reducing it affordability (Agbede and Aletor. 2004).
Today, there are various kinds of infant formula in the market produced from different protein source of which some have been criticized for their content, high cost and health risk. The high cost of infants formula has contributed to malnutrition problem among infant in developing countries compare to if these products were to be Sold at cheaper rate then the low income earners in developing country like Nigeria can afford it for their weaning infants thereby enhancing their growth and well being. On the other hand , if there could be infant formula produced from readily available materials in the country that can serve the same purpose as the commercial infant formulas, and has met the criteria for infant formula formulation as stated by the "AFASS" principle, (Affordable, Feasible, Acceptable, Sustainable, and Safe) (Schlesis, 2006), this will go a long way to reduce infant malnutrition, morbidity and mortality among weaning infants.
Hence, this study is to give a comparison between infant formulas produced from locally sourced materials with those available in the market
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Commercially available infant formulas are very expensive that people who live below the poverty line cannot afford it; this can lead to infant malnutrition. so this project tend to address the problem stated above.
1.3 AIM OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to give a comparative study of infant formula produced from locally sourced materials with those available in the market.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this proposed project will cover the nutritional study for proximate composition, vitamins content, mineral content of the locally made formula and the anti nutritional contents of the locally soured materials.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significance in many ways
It will help the general public to know infant formula that is affordable and nutritionally balanced and suitable for their growing infant.
Also, future researchers will find this work very useful as it will serve as a source of reference materials to them