BACKGROUND: The nutritional quality of cassava complementary porridge was improved through extrusion cooking and compositing with either defatted of full fat soy flour (65 :35 w/w), and product acceptability by mothers with children of the target population was evaluated.
RESULTS: The protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of extrusion- and conventionally cooked composite porridges was within the recommendations for complementary foods. The kinetics of starch digestibility showed that all porridges had a rapid rate of starch digestibility, but the rate was lower when defatted soy flour was added and lowest when full fat soy flour was added. The formation of amylase-lipid complexes as shown by X-ray diffraction and differential scanning calorimetry can be attributed to the lower digestibility of extrusion-cooked porridge with full fat soy flour. If fed thrice per day, extrusion-cooked porridge with defatted or full fat soy flour would meet the energy, protein and available lysine requirements of a child aged 6-8 months receiving low or average nutrients from breast milk. All porridges were well received by Mozambican mothers who use cassava as a staple food. The mean scores for sensory liking of all porridges were 3 and above on a five-point hedonic scale.
CONCLUSION: Extrusion-cooked cassava/Soy flour porridges have good potential for use as high-energy/high –protein complementary foods and have acceptable sensory properties.