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Open AccessArticle

Dynamic Oral Texture Properties of Selected Indigenous Complementary Porridges Used in African Communities

1
Department of Consumer and Food Sciences, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
2
Department of Statistics, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2019, 8(6), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8060221
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 11 June 2019 / Accepted: 13 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Contribution of Food Oral Processing)
Child malnutrition remains a major public health problem in low-income African communities, caused by factors including the low nutritional value of indigenous/local complementary porridges (CP) fed to infants and young children. Most African children subsist on locally available starchy foods, whose oral texture is not well-characterized in relation to their sensorimotor readiness. The sensory quality of CP affects oral processing (OP) abilities in infants and young children. Unsuitable oral texture limits nutrient intake, leading to protein-energy malnutrition. The perception of the oral texture of selected African CPs (n = 13, Maize, Sorghum, Cassava, Orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP), Cowpea, and Bambara) was investigated by a trained temporal-check-all-that-apply (TCATA) panel (n = 10), alongside selected commercial porridges (n = 19). A simulated OP method (Up-Down mouth movements- munching) and a control method (lateral mouth movements- normal adult-like chewing) were used. TCATA results showed that Maize, Cassava, and Sorghum porridges were initially too thick, sticky, slimy, and pasty, and also at the end not easy to swallow even at low solids content—especially by the Up-Down method. These attributes make CPs difficult to ingest for infants given their limited OP abilities, thus, leading to limited nutrient intake, and this can contribute to malnutrition. Methods to improve the texture properties of indigenous CPs are needed to optimize infant nutrient intake.
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Keywords: oral processing; TCATA; texture; malnutrition; sensorimotor readiness; complementary porridge; infant oral processing; TCATA; texture; malnutrition; sensorimotor readiness; complementary porridge; infant
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Makame, J.; Cronje, T.; Emmambux, N.M.; De Kock, H. Dynamic Oral Texture Properties of Selected Indigenous Complementary Porridges Used in African Communities. Foods 2019, 8, 221.

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