• A comparative assessment of the the nutritional contents of 'wara' a west African soft cheese using Calotropis procera and Cymbopogon citratus as coagulants

      Adetunji, VO; Babalobi, OO (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2012-02-29)
      The processing line of West African soft cheese varieties (processed with Calotropis procera (Sodom apple) and Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass) leaf extracts was assessed for nutrient compositions (nitrogen, crude protein, fat, lactose, moisture content), pH, total aerobic plate count and trace elements (Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Na, Ca, Mg and K). The percentage of nutrient composition, pH and the total aerobic plate count of microbes were: milk (nitrogen (2.05), protein (2.78), fat (5.33), lactose (1.86), moisture contents (88.75), pH (3.91) and total aerobic plate count (7.3logcfu/ml); Calotropis procera processed cheese (nitrogen (2.00), protein (2.56), fat (4.43), lactose (1.72), moisture contents (62.89), pH (3.58) and total aerobic plate count (7.34logcfu/ml); Cymbopogon citratus processed cheese (nitrogen (2.01), protein (2.53), fat (4.33), lactose (1.68), moisture contents (63.56), pH ( 3.56) and total aerobic plate count (7.43 logcfu/ml). There were significant differences between the parameters measured in the raw milk and processed cheese at 95% confidence limit. However, the parameters measured varied slightly in the two cheese varieties (Calotropis procera and Cymbopogon citratus). The total aerobic plate counts in milk and cheese were higher than international standards set by Codex alimentarius. Addition of leave extracts (Calotropis procera and Cymbopogon citratus) increased the total aerobic plate counts but the counts dropped at the curdling point during processing. Cymbopogon citratus cheese had a higher total aerobic plate count than the Calotropis procera cheese although not at a significant level. There was an increase in Fe, Zn, Cu and Na along the processing line, but a decrease ensued in Mn, Ca, Mg and K. There was no significant difference in the Zn, Cu, Mn, Ca, Mg, K, N, protein, fat and lactose contents of the two cheese types although all trace elements and nutrients assayed were higher in the Calotropis procera processed cheese with the exception of Fe content. The study suggests the use of Cymbopogon citratus leaf extract as a local milk coagulant due to reports of probable health hazard from the use of C. procera. However, further work on improving the yield of cheese when Cymbopogon citratus is used as coagulant is still necessary.
    • A comparative study of the household food access by farmers in farmer field and life schools in gatanga constituency, Murang’a county, Kenya

      Many programs have been initiated to assist farmers diversify food production. The Farmer  Field and Life Schools (FFLS), an agricultural extension methodology, is an example. Dietary assessment methods are used for nutrition assessments. This study compared household food consumption patterns, by using the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) of households who participated in the FFLS at baseline and after intervention and Non-FFLS households in the Gatanga Constituency in Murang’a County. The study was based on a United Nations Joint Program implemented from 2009 to 2013. A comparative cross-sectional design was used in this study to compare FFLS at baseline, after intervention and Non-FFLS households. 112 households (56 for cases and 56 for comparative group) participated in this study. The baseline survey with 390 households was in 2009. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 21. Paired and independent T-Tests were used to determine the difference in the household dietary diversity score between FFLS at baseline and after intervention, and post intervention FFLS and Non-FFLS, respectively. Results show that 42.8% (n=56) of the FFLS households and 28.5% of non-FFLS household respondents were over 50 years of age. 49% of FLS and 11% non FFLS households have incomes ranging from 0-5,000 Ksh. per month, with 41% of FFLS and 32% non FFLS having incomes ranging from Ksh. 5,001- 10,0001. Mean for Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) at baseline was 8.16 and Non-FFLS was 8.45. Minimum food groups consumed across all groups were cereals, milk and milk products, oils and fats. Comparing FFLSat baseline and post intervention, the percentage of households consuming all food groups increased with exception of fruits and meat. There was a significant difference (p=0.007 against p<0.0005) in the HDDS when FFLS groups post intervention were compared with their baseline. There was no significant difference (p=0.176, against p<0.0005) in the HDDS between FFLS post intervention and non-FFLS households. Compared with the baseline information, FFLS participants who were of low economic status improved their HDDS. Targeting of vulnerable households to participate in such programs has the potential of improving their HDDS compared with the regular HDDS population. Integration of nutrition in agricultural programs with strong extension systems like the - has great potential to improve access and consumption of diversified foods for vulnerable households.Keywords: Agriculture, Nutrition, Farmer Field and Life Schools (FFLS), Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS)Afr. J. Food Agric. Nutr. Dev. 2019; 19(3): 14622-14637
    • A comparative study of therestorative effects of Ocimum gratissimum and Ocimum canum on alcohol induced hepatotoxicity in albino rats

      George, S; Chaturvedi, P; Moseki, B (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2012-02-29)
      Many species of Ocimum possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial properties and the plants are widely used in Ayurveda. The oxidative stress induced by ethanol consumption had been implicated the changes in the structure and functions of liver cells especially the membrane phospholipids leading to lipid peroxidation. This study was to assess the curative potential of the methanol extract of two different species of Ocimum, O. canum and O. gratissimum on alcohol induced hepatotoxicity in albino rats. Male Wister rats of body weight 200-250 g, were divided into 6 groups of six rats each as (1) NC - normal control with normal diet (2) EC - alcohol control fed on alcohol for thirty days; (3) EX -1 MEOG (methanol extract of Ocimum gratissimum) only to check the toxicity of the extract, (4) EX - 2 MEOC (methanol extract of Ocimum canum) only to check whether the extract had any toxic effect of its own and (5) EX - 3 MEOG after treating with ethanol for thirty days and confirming the hepatotoxicity, and (6) EX - 4 MEOC after the ethanol treatment. The rats were sacrificed after 30 days, and the blood collected for biochemical estimations. The results indicated that there were significant difference between the experimental rats (EX-groups) when compared with alcohol control (ECgroup) in all the parameters checked and they were not significantly different from the normal control (NC-group). The curative effect was established in groups 5 and 6, which showed a significant difference in antioxidant levels of all the parameters checked and retrieved its antioxidant status almost to the normal control. To come to the absolute normal condition of antioxidant levels it might have been needed a prolonged treatment for a longer period. Again, the groups, treated with extracts only, did not show any negative effect, which clearly indicated that the extract had no toxic effects. The use of antioxidant is an important preventive and curative method to minimize the pathological and toxic effects of oxidative stress induced by ethanol toxicity. Thus from the result obtained we conclude that MEOG and MEOC could effectively restore the antioxidant system from the oxidative stress induced by ethanol toxicity. In addition, there were no significant differences between the curative effects of these two species of Ocimum in terms of their effect on oxidative stress induced by ethanol toxicity.
    • A comparative study on the nutritional status of children (6-59 months) in a world vision project area and a non-project area in Kathonzweni division, Makueni District, Kenya

      Macharia, CW; Kogi-Makau, W; Muroki, NM (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2016-05-19)
      A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Kathonzweni division, Makueni district to assess and compare the nutritional status of children (6-59 months) drawn from households participating in a World Vision project vis-à-vis non-project area. The purpose of the study was to provide region specific data on the nutrition situation in the World Vision Project area and establish whether there is any significant  difference from the non-operational area. A total of 320 households, of which 160 were from the World Vision project area each with at least a child aged between 6-59 months were randomly selected. In households with more than one child at this age category, only one child was selected. Structured questionnaires were administered to mothers or to alternative caretakers while anthropometric  measurements were taken for all the children in the study households. Statistical package for Social Scientists (SPSS/PC+) computer package was used for data entry and analysis. Indices of nutritional status that is weight-for-age, height-for-age and weight-for-height were computed using the Epi-Info programme. The prevalence of stunting in the project area (46.5%) was slightly higher than among the non-project area (42.1%). A significant relationship was found between the children's age and their nutritional status based on the prevalence of wasting and ofunderweight (p<0.01) while nutritional status, based on stunting, was significantlyassociated with birth order. Overall, there was no significant difference in  prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight between the world vision project area and nonproject area. However, the prevalence of stunting and underweight was higher than the national levels. It is, therefore, concluded that chronic malnutrition is a problem in the study area and age is an important determining factor. Even though World Vision Kenya has been involved in development projects in the area, there is still need for more targeted nutrition interventions by the organization.Key Words: Under-fives, Nutritional status, Wasting, Stunting, UnderweightUne étude transversale a été menée dans la Division de Kathonzweni, District de  Makueni, au Kenya, en vue d’évaluer et comparer l’état alimentaire d'enfants (qui ont entre 6 et 59 mois) pris de ménages participant à un projet de World Vision par rapport à une région en dehors de ce projet. Le but de l'étude était de fournir des données spécifiques à des régions sur la situation de la nutrition dans la région couverte par le projet de World Vision et établir s'il y a une différence significative par rapport à la zone non couverte par ce projet. Un total de 320 ménages, dont 160 étaient de la région couverte par le projet de World Vision, ayant chacun au moins un enfant âgé de 6-59 mois, ont été sélectionnés au hasard. Dans des ménages ayant plus d’un enfant se trouvant dans cette catégorie d'âge, un enfant seulement a été retenu pendant la sélection. Des questionnaires structurés ontété administrés aux mères ou à d’autres responsables d’enfants tandis que des mesures anthropométriques ont été prises pour tous les enfants dans les ménages faisant l’objet de l’étude. Le logiciel informatique Statistical package for Social Scientists (SPSS/PC+) a été utilisé pour le stockage et l'analyse des données. Les indices de l’état alimentaire qui est mesuré par le poids par rapport à l’âge, la  taille/hauteur par rapport à l’âge et le poids par rapport à la taille/hauteur étaient calculés en utilisant le programme Epi-Info. La fréquence du retard de croissance dans la région couverte par le projet (46.5%) était légèrement plus élevée que dans la région non couverte par le projet (42.1%). Un rapport significatif a été trouvé entre l'âge des enfants et leur état alimentaire en se basant sur la fréquence de la perte de poids et de la maigreur (p<0.01) tandis que l’état alimentaire, basé sur le retard de croissance, était considérablement associé avec l'ordre de naissance.Dans l‘ensemble, il n’y avait aucune différence significative dans la fréquence de retard de croissance, la perte de poids et la maigreur entre la région couverte par le projet de World Vision et la région non couverte par le projet. Cependant, la  fréquence du retard de croissance et de la maigreur était plus élevée que les niveaux nationaux. Il est donc conclu que la malnutrition chronique est un problème dans la région étudiée et que l’âge est un facteur déterminant important. Bien que World Vision Kenya ait été impliqué dans des projets de développement dans cette région, il faut que cette organisation oriente ses interventions davantage sur la nutrition.Mots-clés: Les enfants de moins de cinq ans, l’état de l’alimentation, la perte de poids, le retard de croissance, la maigreur. 
    • A Comparison of Modified Atmosphere Packaging Under Ambient Conditions and Low Temperature Storage on Quality of Tomato Fruit

      Mathooko, FM; Department of Food Science and Postharvest Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, P. O. Box 62000, Nairobi, Kenya (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2004-07-30)
      Low temperature and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) were evaluated for their effectiveness in extending the postharvest storage life of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruits. Fruits were harvested at the mature-green stage of ripeness, washed, sorted and treated with a solution of sodium hypochlorite (150 ppm chlorine). The fruits were packaged in low density polyethylene bags (0.044 mm) and kept at ambient conditions of 24±2 0C and relative humidity (RH) of 65±2% or held in environmental chambers at 15 0C and RH of 65% for 4 weeks. The fruits were then transferred to ambient conditions of air, temperature and RH for a further one-week to simulate marketing conditions. Samples were evaluated initially and thereafter every week for weight loss, titratable acidity (TA), soluble solids content (SSC), pH, chlorophyll content, ascorbic acid content and visual appearance. MAP reduced weight loss better than low temperature storage. MAP was also superior in delaying ripening in the fruits for the entire four weeks as evidenced by delayed increase in SSC, chlorophyll degradation and increase in ascorbic acid content which are associated with the fruit ripening. After two weeks of storage at 15 0C most of the fruits had started shriveling, thereby leading to loss of brightness in color and there were signs of mold infection. Under MAP the carbon dioxide and ethylene concentrations in the bags increased to 9% and 31 ppm, respectively. Upon transfer of fruits to ambient conditions, fruits held under MAP ripened normally with no signs of carbon dioxide injury. At the end of five weeks, 50% of fruits held at 15 0C were spoilt while only 26% of fruits under MAP were spoilt. These results indicate that under tropical conditions the quality and storage life of tomato fruits can be extended and ripening delayed better by MAP than by low temperature storage owing to fruit susceptibility to chilling injury. Key Words: Ascorbic acid, Low temperature storage, Lycopersicon esculentum, Modified atmosphere packaging, Tomato COMPARAISON DU CONDITIONNEMENT EN ATMOSPHERE MODIFIEE SOUS CONDITIONS ENVIRONNANTES ET DE LA CONSERVATION A BASSE TEMPERATURE POUR LA QUALITE DU FRUIT DE TOMATE RESUME La conservation à basse température et le conditionnement en atmosphère modifiée (modified atmosphere packaging – MAP) ont été évalués pour leur efficacité dans le but de prolonger la durée de conservation après la récolte des fruits de tomate (Lycospersicon esculentum Mill.). Les fruits ont été récoltés à l'état de maturité vert avancé, lavés, triés et traités avec une solution d'hypochlorite de sodium (150 ppm de chlore). Les fruits ont été emballés dans des sacs en polyethylene à basse densité (0,044 mm) et conservés sous conditions environnantes à 24±2 °C avec une humidité relative (HR) de 65±2% ou maintenus dans des pièces tempérées à 158C avec HR de 65% pendant 4 semaines. Les fruits ont ensuite été transférés en conditions environnantes d'aération, de température et de HR pendant encore une semaine pour simuler les conditions de mise sur le marché. Les échantillons ont été évalués au début de l'étude et ensuite chaque semaine pour perte de poids, acidité titrable (AT), teneur en matière solide soluble (TMS), pH, teneur en chlorophylle, teneur en acide ascorbique et apparence visuelle. Le MAP avait un meilleur effet réducteur de poids que la conservation à basse température. Le MAP était aussi supérieur pour retarder la maturation des fruits, pendant toute la période de quatre semaines, ainsi que démontré par une augmentation retardée du TMS, de la dégradation du chlorophylle et de l'augmentation du contenu en acide ascorbique qui sont associés à la maturation du fruit. Après deux semaines de conservation à 158C, la plupart des fruits commençaient à se ratatiner, entraînant une perte du brilliant de la couleur, et il y avait des signes de moisissure. Dans les conditions de MAP, les concentrations de dioxyde de carbone et versène dans les sacs ont augmenté jusqu'à 9% et 31 ppm, respectivement. Lors du transfert des fruits en conditions environnantes, les fruits conservés par MAP ont mûri normalement sans montrer de signes de dommage dû au dioxyde de carbone. Après cinq semaines, 50% des fruits conservés à 15 °C étaient abimés tandis que seulement 26 % des fruits l'étaient avec le système MAP. Ces résultats indiquent que dans des conditions tropicales, la qualité et la durée de conservation des fruits de tomate peuvent être améliorées et la maturation mieux retardée en utilisant le MAP que la conservation à basse température, compte tenu de la susceptibilité des fruits aux dommages causés par le refroidissement. Mots clés: acide ascorbique; conservation à basse termpérature; Lycopersicon esculentum; conditionnement en atmosphère modifiée; tomate. AJFAND Vol.3(2) 2003
    • A comparison of the kinetics of mango drying in open-air, solar, and forced-air dryers

      Mercer, DG (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2013-01-09)
      Mangoes are under-utilized fruits that grow naturally in many sub-Saharan African countries. At the present time most mangoes are sold fresh in local markets. There is little done to preserve them for use during the off-season. Drying is one way in which the economic potential of mangoes could be exploited. This study was undertaken to investigate and compare the kinetics of mango drying using three basic drying methods: open-air drying on wire mesh racks; solar drying in a prototype dryer equipped with solar-powered exhaust fans; and forced-air drying in an Armfield Model UOP8 laboratory-scale tray dryer. Results could then be used to determineappropriate drying techniques for mango processing in sub-Saharan Africa on both local and commercial scales. Of these methods, forced air drying was found to provide the best overall results, based on water removal rates and general control over the drying process. Solar drying, while viewed as a promising technology for application in developing countries, was considerably slower than forced- air drying and is severely restricted by climatic conditions. A similar situation was observed for open-air drying, which was the slowest drying method of the three. Based upon mathematical models developed for each drying method, 11.6 hours was predicted as being required for mangoes in the forced-air dryer to a final moisture content of 10% (wet basis). Sixteen (16) hours and 24 hours of exposure to appropriate drying conditions were predicted as being required for solar drying and open-air drying, respectively. This could take three or four days to achieve under actual operating conditions. These times were supported by experimentally determined values. The impact of air temperature and linear air velocity on the drying kinetics of sliced  mangoes were also investigated using the forced-air dryer. A linear velocity of 0.5 m/s was found to be sufficient for satisfactory drying of the mango slices when combined with an air temperature in the range of 50ÅC to 60ÅC. It is recommended that forced-air drying be utilized whenever possible for the drying of mango slices for both food safety and food quality reasons.
    • A competitive enzyme linked immunosorbent assay for the determination of diminazene residues in animal tissues.

      Karanja, W.M; Mdachi, R.E; Ngeranwa, J.N; Murungi, J.I (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2010-12-16)
      The importance of ensuring food safety through the reduction of chemical residues in our food supply cannot be overemphasized. Food safety remains a major challenge confronting contemporary society. To ensure wholesomeness of food of animal origin, the level of drug residues must be below the maximum residue limits (MRLs) set by World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This calls for cost effective and efficient analytical methods for both quality assurance and monitoring. Diminazene aceturate is one of the few treatment drugs for animal trypanosomosis in the market. Because of its wide use in food producing animals, unwanted residues may be a risk to consumers. A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) for determination of diminazene residues in edible animal tissues after extraction in 0.1 M borax pH 9.7 is described. The assay has advantages of speed, high throughput and lower cost of analysis compared to the other conventional methods. The assay uses rabbit anti-diminazene polyclonal antibodies bound on a 96-well microtiter plate. Horseradish peroxidase-labeled diminazene and diminazene in a test sample were allowed to compete overnight at 4 oC for the limited number of antibodies bound on the microtiter plate. After six washes with buffer, enzyme activity was determined by adding tetramethyl-benzidine and hydrogen peroxide as substrate. The assay detection limits for diminazene were 2.4 ng/g in muscle, 2.5 ng/g in liver and 2.2 ng/g in kidney while limits of quantification were 7.2 ng/g, 7.5 ng/g and 6.6 ng/g respectively. The recoveries for muscle liver and kidney spiked with 5 ng/g were 78%, 77% and 80% respectively while for 1,000 ng/g were 74%, 76.% and 84% respectively. The within-and between assay coefficients of variation (CV) were 2.4% and 15.5% respectively while assay specificity was above 99.9%. It is concluded that as a result of the good recoveries, high specificity and repeatability, the method could be used in the determination and monitoring of diminazene residues in tissues. These activities aimed at ensuring the safety of food of animal origin could play a major role in enhancing consumer confidence in these products which are very essential for health.

      Sifri, Zeina; Hellen Keller International Division of Hellen Keller Worldwide,352 Park Avenue South, Suite 1200, New York, NY 10010; Darnton-Hill, I.; Hellen Keller International Division of Hellen Keller Worldwide,352 Park Avenue South, Suite 1200, New York, NY 10010; Baker, S. K.; Helen Keller International, Regional Office for Africa, Avenue Noges, Plateau, abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Bendech, M. Ag; Helen Keller International, Regional Office for Africa, Avenue Noges, Plateau, abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Baker, S. K.; Helen Keller International, Regional Office for Africa, Avenue Noges, Plateau, abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Aguayo, V. M.; Helen Keller International, Regional Office for Africa, Avenue Noges, Plateau, abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; Bendech, M. Ag; Helen Keller International, Regional Office for Africa, Avenue Noges, Plateau, abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2002-02-01)
      Despite some encouraging progress, micronutrient malnutrition remains a public health problem affecting all countries in Africa. Estimates show that over 85 million people living on the African continent are iodine deficient. A further 180 million are at risk of iodine deficiency disorders. With iodized salt reaching about 70% of African households, these figures are presumably lower. Anemia is a major public health problem in Africa, affecting over 80% of women, infants and young children. Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in 64 countries. With a focus on the prevention and control of micronutrient deficiencies, supplementation with vitamin A capsules has been successfully integrated into the National Immunization Days in 43 of 64 vitamin A-deficient countries. Iron/folate supplementation of pregnant women is government policy in virtually all countries but has had very limited success. Multimicronutrient supplementation is another approach that is being explored. Food-based approaches such as dietary diversification are both sustainable and culturally well-accepted in the African context. Many countries in Africa are progressing with food fortification efforts including wheat flour fortification with iron in Zimbabwe and vitamin A fortification of sugar in Zambia. Ongoing complementary public health measures include breastfeeding, immunization, control of infectious diseases and poverty alleviation policies. Many existing challenges devalue the potential impact of nutrition programs on development and national progress. There exists however, a wealth of innovative promising experiences in Africa such as national micronutrient days and hammermill fortification. The major initiatives currently addressing malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases will also contribute. Key words: micronutrient malnutrition, vitamin A, iron, iron deficiency anemia, Africa Rsum UNE VUE GLOBALE CONCISE DES INSUFFISANCES EN MICRONUTRIMENTS EN AFRIQUE ET ORIENTATIONS FUTURES RÉSUMÉ Malgré quelques progrès encourageants, la malnutrition en matière de micro-nutriments demeure un problème de santé publique qui affecte tous les pays en Afrique. Les estimations montrent que plus de 85 millions de personnes vivant sur le continent africain ont des insuffisances d iode et que 180 millions d autres sont menacés d avoir des perturbations causées par l insuffisance d iode. Etant donné que le sel iodé atteint près de 70% de ménagers Africains, ces chiffres sont sans doute inférieurs à la réalité. L anémie est un problème majeur de santé publique en Afrique ; elle affecte plus de 80% de femmes, de nourrissons et de petits enfants. L insuffisance en Vitamine A est un problème de santé publique dans 64 pays. L accent étant mis sur la prévention et la réduction des insuffisances en micro-nutriments, le supplément par des capsules de vitamine A a été efficacement intégré dans les Journées Nationales d Immunisation dans 43 sur 64 pays accusant une insuffisance en vitamine A. Un supplément de fer/folate chez les femmes enceintes est une politique gouvernementale dans pratiquement tous les pays, mais il a eu un succès très limité. Le supplément de multimicronutriments est une autre approche qui est explorée actuellement. Des approches basées sur les aliments, telles que la diversification du régime alimentaire, sont viables et culturellement bien acceptées dans le contexte africain. Plusieurs pays d Afrique progressent avec des efforts de fortification alimentaire, comme la fortification de la farine de blé avec du fer au Zimbabwe et la fortification de la vitamine A avec du sucre en Zambie. Les mesures en cours qui sont complémentaires de la santé publique sont notamment l allaitement, l immunisation, la lutte contre les maladies infectieuses et les politiques d allègement de la pauvreté. Beaucoup de défis actuels dévaluent l impact éventuel des programmes de nutrition sur le développement et le progrès national. Il existe, cependant, une richesse d expériences novatrices prometteuses en Afrique, telles que les journées nationales des micro-nutriments et la fortification de hammermill. Les initiatives majeures de lutte contre la malaria, la tuberculose, les maladies infectieuses connexes du VIH/SIDA apporteront également des contributions. Mots clés: malnutrition par manque de micro-nutriments, vitamine A, le fer, l anémie causée par l insuffisance du fer, Afrique. (Af. J. Food and Nutritional Sciences: 2002 2 (2): 78-85)
    • A consensus on malnutrition in Africa: a report from the micronutrient deficiency awareness forum (Nairobi 2017)

      Githanga, D; Awiti, A; Were, F; Ngwiri, T; Nyarko, M.Y.; Shellack, N (AFRICAN SCHOLARLY SCIENCE COMMUNICATIONS TRUST (ASSCAT), 2019-04-16)
      While most forms of malnutrition are easy to identify at an early age, micronutrient deficiency also manifests in form of “Hidden Hunger”, where children could seem to be well fed, but still suffer from deficiencies due to lack of key micronutrients in their diets whose absence is hard to detect. While the symptoms of micronutrient deficiency may not be obvious in the short-term, they translate into cognitive deficiencies in the longterm that negatively affect the economic productivity of these infants when they become adults, perpetuating the malnutrition cycle. The Micronutrient Deficiency Awareness Forum was held in April 2017 in Nairobi Kenya, comprising seven specialties from across sub-Saharan Africa. The forum was convened to discuss how to increase awareness of conditions associated with micronutrient deficiencies developing from early childhood, especially those impacting brain development, identify sections of the population that were at high risk of micronutrient deficiencies, outline available guidelines on diagnostic tools, assessment and management of deficiencies, and develop a consensus on best practices in diagnosing, managing, and preventing micronutrient deficiency and malnutrition. It is estimated that 40% of the children in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by stunting, which is the most prevalent form of malnutrition, and an estimated 69-82% of malnutrition cases are not properly treated. This phenomenon is not without a cost, as malnutrition greatly undermines cognitive development, and ultimately economic productivity. A 2014 study revealed that Ethiopia lost the equivalent of 12% of its GDP to malnutrition in 2009. Studies in different countries across the world have shown that focused interventions work. For instance, early childhood macronutrient intervention led to a 46% higher wage in adult years in Guatemala. The Micronutrient Deficiency Awareness Forum 2017 Consensus Report provides suggestions on policy design and implementation strategies that may lead to early detection, treatment, and ultimately prevalence reduction of malnutrition across the region.Keywords: Malnutrition, Micronutrient Deficiency, Kenya, Africa, Nutrition, Infant Screening, Supplementation
    • A food-based approach to reduce vitamin a deficiency in southern Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study of maternal nutrition and health indicators

      Busse, H; Kurabachew, H; Ptak, M; Fofanah, M (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2017-08-04)
      One micronutrient essential for proper growth and development is Vitamin A. Children and pregnant women are most susceptible to vitamin A deficiency (VAD) because of the higher intake requirements needed during critical growth periods. Vitamin A deficiency is a serious but preventable public health problem in Ethiopia. In 2012, the International Potato Center (CIP) partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) and local stakeholders in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR), Ethiopia, to address the issue of VAD among rural SNNPR households by increasing production and consumption of orange fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP). This paper presents a cross-sectional analysis of vitamin A knowledge, consumption practices, and OFSP agronomic practices from surveys conducted among households who participated in a food-based intervention. The study population consisted of 150 mothers from rural households in five districts in the Sidama and Wolayta zones in the SNNPR. Data were collected during April and May 2013 by trained enumerators in the local language using structured questionnaires. Surveys were adapted from validated instruments, and included questions about household socioeconomic characteristics, agricultural practices, dietary diversity, food security, and general health for women between 20-60 years and children between 6-59 months. Among respondents, 63% of mothers reported knowledge about vitamin A, with responses varying by geographic location. Among those who reported knowledge about vitamin A, 8% identified OFSP as a source, 1% had consumed OFSP in the past 7 days, and 0% reported that they ever prepared OFSP with an animal- or vegetable-based fat. Vitamin A-related health issues reported by mothers include night-blindness (32%), measles (32%) and malaria (72%). Given that existing knowledge, behaviors and production levels of vitamin A rich foods (including OFSP) are limited within the SNNPR study population and vary by geographic location, an integrated, food-based approach to address VAD may be relevant in this context to sustainably support improved health and livelihoods.Key words: Nutrition, orange fleshed sweet potato, behavior change, Ethiopia
    • A framework for evaluating food security and nutrition monitoring systems

      Suresh, B; Ergeneman, A (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2016-05-23)
      Identifying cost and time-efficient approaches to food security and nutrition monitoring programs is fundamental to increasing the utility and sustainability. Food security and nutrition monitoring systems should be periodically evaluated to ensure that their objectives are met, and re-oriented towards the changing  information needs for food policy interventions. In meeting  these challenges, the role of continued evaluation of food security monitoring systems - for their impact on food security  decision-making - cannot be overemphasized. The linkage between the information generated by these systems, planning and policy processes to improve food security remains weak in several sub-Saharan African countries. This paper aims at   developing a framework for evaluating food security and nutrition monitoring systems. Among the criteria used for evaluation are the capacity for data processing, analysis and, reporting, timely generation of information, commitment of decision makers and cost-effectiveness. Using this framework, the paper evaluates the National Early Warning System (NEWS) and the Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) programs in Uganda, to gain useful lessons for other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A majority of food security monitoring systems continues to be based on macro-level information and operated at the national  level. Future challenges in addressing household food security will require devolution of the process of food security monitoring and intervention systems to decentralized levels. The authors also find that a sound food security and nutrition monitoring system is simple, user-driven and has the commitment of relevant decision- makers, who will use the information in planning and policy design. The paper  stresses that frequent evaluation of the methods and systems of monitoring food security is essential for sustaining the commitment of decisionmakers. Also, ongoing assessments will facilitate existing monitoring systems to develop into ones that encompass the sphere of livelihood security. The use of the livelihood approach in food security monitoring in turn will support preventive and proactive solutions, rather than curative approaches to food insecurity.Keywords: Early warning, food security, nutrition, monitoring, evaluationIl est fondamental d’identifier des coûts et des approches rentables permettant de contrôler la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition en vue d’accroître l’utilité et la viabilité des programmes y relatifs. Les systèmes de contrôle de la sécurité  alimentaire et de la nutrition devraient être périodiquement évalués afin d’assurer que leurs objectifs sont atteints et  réorientés vers les besoins changeants en  informations pour des interventions de politique alimentaire. Le lien entre les  informations générées par ces systèmes et les processus de planification et d’ordre politique pour améliorer la sécurité  alimentaire demeure faible dans de nombreux  pays de l’Afrique subsaharienne. Le présent exposé met au point un cadre  permettant d’évaluer les systèmes de contrôle de la sécurité alimentaire et de la nutrition. Parmi les critères utilisés dans  l’évaluation figurent la capacité de traiter les données, l’analyse et la présentation des rapports, la production d’informations à temps, l’engagement des décideurs et la rentabilité. En utilisant ce cadre, cet  exposé évalue les programmes de « Système national d’alerte avancée » et de Système national d’alerte rapide en cas de famine » en Ouganda afin d’en tirer des leçons utiles pour d’autres pays de l’Afrique subsaharienne. Les auteurs pensent qu’un système fiable de contrôle de la sécurité  alimentaire et de la nutrition est  simple et orienté vers l’utilisateur, et qu’il a l’engagement des décideurs concernés qui  utiliseront ces informations lors de la planification et la conception de la  politique sectorielle. Cet exposé souligne qu’une l’évaluation fréquente des  méthodes et des systèmes de contrôle de la sécurité alimentaire est essentielle pour sous-tendre l’engagement des décideurs. En outre, des évaluations continues faciliteront les systèmes de contrôle qui sont déjà en place pour qu’ils deviennent des systèmes qui englobent la sphère de la sécurité du bétail. L’utilisation de  l’approche relative au bétail dans le contrôle de la sécurité alimentaire appuiera des solutions préventives et dynamiques plutôt que des approches curatives en cas d’insécurité alimentaire.Mots-clés: Alerte rapide, sécurité alimentaire, nutrition, contrôle, évaluation 
    • A literature review of role of obesity in adult health with reference to Africa

      Lokuruka, MNI (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2013-02-08)
      Although obesity is a global epidemic that affects every socio-economic class, little is available in the literature on the status of the syndrome in Africa. This literature review was therefore written in order to highlight the causes, effects and potential mitigation measures of the syndrome with particular interest on the status of the condition in Africa. Obesity results from an incorrect energy balance leading to an increased store of energy, mainly as fat. The major factors that contribute to obesity include over-nutrition, physical inactivity, change of dietary habits, modernization,consumption of high fat, high carbohydrate foods, urbanization and in a minority of patients a physical condition or metabolic disturbance. Body mass index (BMI) is currently being used by competent authorities as an index of obesity. BMI differentiates classes of obesity, with class I, II and III being identified with BMI of .30 but <35, .35 but <40, and .40, respectively. A BMI of 18.5-25 is regarded as normal. However, it is sometimes difficult to differentiate obesity due to excess fatdeposition and that due to muscle atrophy. Also, current procedures for estimating body fat percentage are not as accurate as they should and often give different results. Despite women tending to be more obese than men, they are less prone to hypertension, heart disease and type 2 diabetes than men before they reach menopause due to their fat deposition being predominantly sub-cutaneous rather than abdominal. In 2010, the WHO estimated that about 1.4 billion adults were overweightand obese, but 300-400 million were obese. The defining metabolic changes in obesity are decreased glucose tolerance, decreased sensitivity to insulin, hyperinsulinemia and reduced life expectancy. Obesity can be treated by restricting food intake and engaging in regular physical exercises. Other measures include the use of anorectic drugs and various forms of jejunoileostomy. Obesity is a controllable behavioural disorder, with regular exercise and sensible eating being the best ways to regulate body fat percentage and maintain a healthy body weight. As it is difficult totreat obesity, efforts should be directed towards prevention in order to keep it in check.Keywords: Obesity, global situation, Africa, mitigation
    • A national survey of rice (Oryza sativa L.) grain quality in Sierra Leone I: Perception of traders and consumers

      Kamara, JS; Bockari-Gevao, SM; Luseni, PJ; Leigh, AU; Cooke, RA (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2014-09-16)
      As Sierra Leone approaches self-sufficiency in rice, against a backdrop of agricultural commercialization, the dynamics of the rice grain production and consumption will increasingly be driven by the quality of grains  demanded by consumers to be produced by farmers and marketed by traders in the open market. The present study was a national perception survey aimed at establishing the current status of rice grain quality based on the perspectives of traders and consumers interviewed at selected market places in four major cities across the country. In separate interviewsconducted with315 consumers and traders selected at random from 45 markets around the country, individual responses were solicited on the general interests of consumers and traders, as well as the marketing practices and aspirations for the improvement of rice grain quality in the country. Results obtained from the two surveys suggest that the priorities of rice consumers for grain quality were generally similar to those of thetraders. For example, between to 63 to 100 per cent (84 %all cities) of consumers and 69 to 100 percent (88% all cities) of traders interviewed indicated preference for imported rice, with a significant positive correlation (r = 0.78) between the two groups. Among rice products found in the market, the imported high swelling, long grain rice was shown to be preferred by both traders and consumers, due mostly to the high swelling power and non-seasonal market availability of that grain type. Other results suggest that both traders and consumers desire further improvement in grain quality, even though they do not consider this to be of high priority. The study leads to the conclusion that imported rice products are more popular than local rice products among rice traders and consumers in Sierra Leone. It is speculated that such preference might have been driven directly by the priorities of household food decisions and indirectly by the general socio-economics of food production and consumption in the country.Keywords: Rice grain quality, consumers, Sierra Leone
    • A national survey of rice (Oryza sativa L.) Grain quality in Sierra Leone II: Evaluation of physical grain quality

      Kamara, Joseph Sherman; Leigh, AU; Cooke, RA (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2016-01-15)
      Rice is a very important item of food and commerce in Sierra Leone and so information on the quality of available rice grains can serve as a useful indicator for the technical status and level of competitiveness in the local rice industry. During this study an objective evaluation was conducted to measure and characterize the quality of rice grains available in the local markets of Sierra Leone. A total of 315 randomly selected rice samples from 45 markets selected from the four major cities of Sierra Leone (Makeni, Bo, Kenema and Freetown, representing urban communities from the northern, southern, eastern and western parts of the country, respectively) were evaluated. Quality evaluation involved measurement of moisture content, number of paddy (unmilled rice kernels) in 1 kg of milled rice and other quality factors normally used for the grading of milled rice. Rice samples were then graded based on criteria adapted from the Philippines Rice Grading Standards for milled rice grains. The results showed that the quality of all grain samples evaluated was generally poor, with 63.2% of the samples failing to meet the criteria set for Grade III rice quality (meaning that the quality level was worse than grade III). Quality measures obtained for imported samples appeared to be superior to that obtained for the local samples in terms of higher proportions of superior grades (grade II or better). Comparison of measures of grading factors revealed that among the four cities considered in this study, grains from Kenema were of the lowest quality. Further examination of grade limiting factors revealed that the most critical factors responsible for poor quality outcomes in grain sample were (i) the number of paddy in 1kg of milled rice and (ii) the moisture content of grains. The study provided quantitative measures of the quality status of rice grains available in Sierra Leone, as well as a means of identifying the major binding constraints to rice grain quality, in terms of the grade limiting factors. It is speculated that the low quality of rice grains observed in this study could be the result of avoidable quality defects that may be linked to an undeveloped national system for rice milling and handling.Keywords: Rice grading, grain quality attributes, physical characteristics, Sierra Leone
    • A New Agrarian Policy in Germany and its Consequences for the South

      Buntzel-Cano, Rudolf (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2002-01-01)
      (Af. J. of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development: 2002 2(1): 30-32)
    • A Pilot Microbial Assessment Of Beef Sold In The Ashaiman Market, A Suburb Of Accra, Ghana

      Soriyi, I; Agbogli, H K; Dongdem, J T (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2008-04-23)
      Food safety is a matter of great public health concern worldwide and particularly crucial if the environment in which the food is handled is heavily contaminated. Most fresh foods particularly that of animal origin like beef is highly susceptible to microbial invasion and food poisoning. In poorly managed market environment particularly in Ghana, unhygienic practice is the major cause for food contamination. This study observed the hygienic practices and microbiological food safety standards of butchers who specifically sold beef in the Ashaiman market in Accra, Ghana. Hygienic practices of sixteen (16) butchers were randomly selected in a cross sectional study using an eight point scale checklist weekly over a period of four weeks. The microbial quality of one hundred and twenty-eight (128) fresh beef samples were aseptically collected and analysed using standard microbiological techniques. It was observed that majority of the butchers did not practice safe hygiene standards as recommended by the Ghana Food and Drugs Board and the Ghana Standards Board. The beef samples were contaminated with Aerobic mesophiles (189-23000 cfu/g), Staphylococcus aureus (22-59 cfu/g), Bacillus cereus (17-41 cfu/g), Clostridium perfringens (21-48 cfu/g) and Escherichia coli (31-2200 cfu/g). The pH of the beef samples were between 6.50 and 6.90. The butchers in Ashaiman market supplied fairly contaminated beef to the general public. Escherichia coli, which is a sign of faecal contamination, was the predominant microbial contaminant in the samples examined. The result of unhygienic practices and poor handling of beef by butchers in the Ashaiman market is the major cause of contaminated beef. There are chances that other meat sold by virtually the same group of persons could equally or even more be contaminated by food borne pathogens. Hence food industry and consumers should be made aware of the potential risk of food borne pathogens in beef sold by butchers in Ashaiman market. Keywords: Hygienic practices, meat, food safety.AJFAND Vol. 8 (1) 2008 pp. 91-103
    • A preliminary survey of animal handling and cultural slaughter practices among Kenyan communities: Potential influence on meat quality

      Lokuruka, MNI (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2016-03-17)
      Kenya is composed of over 40 ethnic communities who practice varied methods of animal handling and slaughter. Socio-cultural and religious traditions have the potential to influence animal handling and slaughter practices. These influences have, however, not been documented in the literature as far as the author is aware. Also, the literature has documented the connection between the manner of animal treatment and meat quality, but this is rarely discussed in the literature in Kenya; this connection is important as it informs modern meat trade practices by Kenyans as they trade in the global arena. This survey aimed to mainly establish and document the animal slaughter practices among Kenyan communities, and, to also highlight any current provisions related to meeting modern animal welfare requirements, animal handling procedures in the meat trade and discuss their potential influence on meat quality available in commerce in Kenya. This preliminary study surveyed the slaughter practices among 10 different Kenyan communities through a semi-structured questionnaire, focus group discussions and individual interviews. The survey demonstrated that different Kenyan communities practice varied methods of animal slaughter depending on whether the animal being slaughtered is for public feasting, domestic consumption or commercial merchandizing. The Kenyan communities surveyed in this study depend mainly on males to slaughter livestock for females preparing it for domestic use using a number of instruments and methods. For small stock for domestic consumption, females may slaughter the animal except for Muslims whose males have to slaughter the animal with a special knife (a Khalef) according to Muslim rites to render it Halal. Large stock is invariably slaughtered by males irrespective of the community, and the manner of use of the carcass. Gender, age, religion, community and the size of the animal were the major determinants of the method of animal slaughter. The animal welfare issues highlighted in the survey and related to the handling and slaughter of livestock have important implications for meat quality during commercial merchandizing. There is an apparent need to provide education to herders, livestock handlers, employees and management in the livestock industry in Kenya on the relationship between animal welfare requirements, animal handling procedures and meat quality. Such awareness can potentially improve the quality and economic value of the meat available in commerce.Keywords: Kenya, animal welfare, handling, slaughter practices, meat quality
    • A restrospective study of the nutritional status of primary school children in Harare

      Mushonga, NGT; Kujinga, P; Chagwena, DT; Chituwu, R; Nyabanga, G (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2014-06-30)
      Malnourished children may grow up to become adults with reduced physical and cognitive capacity. Knowledge of trends of children’s nutritional status over time is important to raise awareness, guide resource allocation as well as develop nutrition-related interventions for communities. A retrospective study was conducted in Harare using data collected and compiled by the Harare City Council Nutrition Unit. Trends of nutritional status of primary school children in high density areas of Harare were examined in relation to stunting and wasting. All anthropometric data generated from 2003 to 2011 by the Harare Nutrition Unit were analysed. Age was calculated by subtracting the date of birth from the date of interview. The Z-scores for height-for-age (HAZ), and weight-for-height (WHZ) were calculated using the National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS) standards. Children with HAZ and WHZ less than -2 SD from the median reference population were considered stunted and wasted, respectively. The least squares method was used to determine the strength of outcome change measures over time. A decrease in stunting was observed from a prevalence of 10.2% to 7.4% over the period 2003 to 2011 in males (R2 = 0.13), and from 7.8% to 4.4% in females (R2 = 0.29) over the same period. Wasting in both males and females was on a slower decrease starting only from the year 2007 to 2009 (R2 = 0.11) for males and (R2 = 0.05) for females. There has been an increase in wasting in recent years from 2009 to 2011 in males (2.7-4.6%) and females (3.1-3.6%). More males among primary school children are both wasted and stunted than females. The results demonstrate a decreasing prevalence in stunting in primary school children but there is an increase in prevalence of wasting in primary school children. Interventions to curb the rise in wasting in primary school children in Harare’s high density areas are warranted such as resuscitation of school nutrition gardens, school feeding program and health education.Key words: stunting, wasting, malnutrition, children, Zimbabwe
    • A review of agricultural aflatoxin management strategies and emerging innovations in sub-saharan Africa

      Monda, E.O.; Alakonya, A.E. (Rural Outreach Program (Kenya), 2016-08-12)
      Aflatoxins are highly carcinogenic secondary metabolites produced by Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus and A. nomius. Aflatoxin contamination of food and animal feeds is, therefore, a major food security, food safety, trade, human and domestic animal health concern. Researchers worldwide have suggested various agriculture-based strategies to manage aflatoxigenic Aspergillus species and reduce contamination to safe levels. This paper reviews various agricultural strategies that could be employed to reduce contamination of aflatoxins in food crops and animal feeds, as well as the challenges faced by these reduction strategies. Among these strategies are innovations like AflasafeTM and solar grain driers. It is hoped that this critique will stimulate refinement of the existing aflatoxin control approaches and innovations to maximize their efficacy.Keywords: aflatoxins, plant resistance, atoxigenic strains, drying instruments, aflatoxin control, food safety, mycotoxins, post-harvest losses
    • A review of challenges to genetic improvement of indigenous livestock for improved food production in Nigeria

      Okpeku, Moses; Ogah, Danlami Moses; Adeleke, Matthew A. (AFRICAN SCHOLARLY SCIENCE COMMUNICATIONS TRUST (ASSCAT), 2019-04-15)
      Indigenous livestock production is intertwined with the life style of Nigerians. The Nigerian livestock industry employs the bulk of the rural work-force, and indigenous livestock breeds are abundant in the industry. These breeds are distributed across the diverse agro-ecological production systems, and are carriers of unique and responsive genotypes shaped by the needs of their managers. Despite their unique features, most indigenous livestock breeds are characteristically low in production and productivity. Improvement of these breeds represents a logical starting point for improving food security and agricultural productivity in Nigeria. To better understand natural genetic variation in these indigenous livestock breeds and strategies for improvement, better genetic characterization is required. Molecular assisted selection (MAS) will be valuable in the pursuit of selection for increased production, but the application of MAS to livestock improvement is constrained by a variety of limitations. The focus of this paper is to elucidate the potential of MAS as a tool for genetic improvement of indigenous livestock, to identify constraints and challenges in MAS implementation and propose solutions to increasing MAS feasibility in pursuit of improved food security and sustainability in Nigeria.Keywords: Food security, Genetic improvement, Genomic Selection, Indigenous livestock, Marker assisted selection, Nigeria