Sensory acceptability trial for a chickpea based ready to use supplementary food among moderately malnourished children (6 – 59 months)

Sensory acceptability trial for a chickpea based ready to use supplementary food among moderately malnourished children (6 – 59 months)

Malnutrition is one of the most important causes of child mortality in Ethiopia being the underlying cause of 57 per cent of child deaths in Ethiopia. These children and their mothers suffer from the poor health and nutrition situation in the country. Stunting and underweight rates of children aged from 6 to 59 months in Ethiopia is one of the highest in the world making both short term and long term nutrition intervention measures very crucial. As part of the effort to tackle this deep rooted problem, World Food Programme (WFP) developed chickpea based locally produced ready-to-use supplementary food (RUSF) products and collaboratively worked with Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) to assess the sensory acceptability of two locally-produced chickpea-based RUSF formulae among moderately malnourished children aged 6 to 59 months and assess the readiness of their caregivers to administer such food.

The general objective of the study is to assess sensory acceptability of locally-produced chickpea-based RUSF “Acha Mum” among moderately malnourished children (6-59 months) and to assess the readiness of their caregivers to administer such food.

The specific objectives of the study include to:

  • assess the level of acceptance of two chickpea-based RUSF products by children six to 59 months in terms of liking or disliking of the product
  • examine the level of acceptance of two chickpea-based RUSF products by children six to 59 months in terms of quantity consumed per feed and any effect it may have on their health
  • assess acceptability of two chickpea-based RUSF products by caregivers of children six to 59 months in terms of taste, flavour, colour and texture

The research shows that:

  • about half of the respondents (46 per cent) are farmers while 29 per cent are housewives; only 21 per cent have formal education
  • on Child Diet Diversity, about 89 per cent of children consumed complementary food from starchy staple food; 17 per cent Vitamin A rich foods; 57 per cent DGLVs; no child consumed meat, fish and eggs; 49.3 per cent legumes, nuts and seeds; 36.4 per cent, milk and milk products and the Mean Dietary Diversity is rated at 2 out of the 9 food groups
  • there was no statistically significant difference among the 5 out of the 9 parameters of
    • child response as perceived by the mother
    • child response as perceived by the interviewer
    • amount of RUSF consumed by the child during the test period
    • time spent with the food by the child during the study period
    • smell of the RUSF product as tested by the mother
  • acceptability evaluation by region based on the mothers’/caregivers’ and interviewers’ response found that Amhara region had accepted the two products more than the other four regions with an average mean value of 4.76 and 4.59 by mother/ caregiver and interviewer respectively