The study also suggests that whey-fortified maize pap may be a preferred alternative to normal maize pap prepared with water.
Titled ‘Fortification of Ogi with Whey Increases Essential Amino Acids Content of Fortified Product’, the research was conducted by J. O. Omole, O. M. Ighodaro, and O. Durosinolorun – all lecturers of the Department of Biochemistry, Lead City University, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
The report was published in the International Scholarly Research Notices (ISRN) Nutrition, by Mr Ighodaro, a professor.
The research also claimed that data obtained may provide useful information in the formulation of infant feeding formula rich in quality protein and minerals, which are essential for child growth and development.
Ogi is a traditionally fermented food made from cereals including maize, millet, and sorghum and commonly consumed by both infants and adults in Africa, particularly West African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.
Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins, both of which are the building blocks of life.
Whey, on its part, refers to the watery part of milk that remains after the formation of curds or cheese.
The researchers explained that essential amino acid content determines the nutritional and functional quality of proteins, which in turn play several important roles in body physiology and development.
Humans and some farm animals lack the cellular proficiency to synthesise these essential amino acids, they explained, and this brings about the need to increase the levels of these nutrient molecules in certain foods in which they are deficient.
The researchers argued that the use of whey in food processing is well documented, adding that whey contains high quality and nutritious dairy proteins which are good for healthy living because of their richness in essential amino acids.
Explaining the methods, the researchers noted that they conducted two separate studies using distilled water and whey. For the water category, maize for the production of maize pap was purchased from a local market (Bodija market) in Ibadan, Nigeria.
“The grains were removed, drained, and wet milled at the university food processing workshop mill using a locally fabricated wet and dry mill. The slurry obtained was sieved using an affine sieve of diameter 300–400 micrometers,” they explained.
“The suspension obtained was left to stand for 24 hours to allow the ogi to settle. The suspension was decanted and the ogi collected and dried in a tray dryer for 48 hours at 80∘C.
“The dry form was ground to powder and then packed in nylon for safe storage until being required for analysis.”
With regard to the other category using whey, they noted that whey was purchased from Fulani cheesemakers located at Toll gate area, Ibadan, Nigeria.
They added: “Maize grains (1.5 kg) were cleaned and washed with water before being soaked in whey for 72 hours. After steeping, the maize grains were removed and drained. The steeped grains were milled and the slurry obtained was sieved with a fine sieve of diameter 300–400 micrometers.
“The filtrate was left to stand for 24 hours to allow the ogi to settle. The suspension was decanted and the solid remaining was collected and dried in a tray dryer for 48 h at 80∘C. The powdered whey-maize ogi was similarly stored in nylon and kept in safe storage until being required for analysis.”
Afterwards, they said, normal maize and whey-maize pap samples were subjected to proximate composition analysis for moisture, crude fat, crude protein, ash, and fibre contents using standard procedures of analysis. The carbohydrate contents of the samples were obtained by difference, they added.
In their findings, the researchers explained that a comparison of the proximate compositions of normal maize pap and whey-maize pap showed an increase in protein content (9.53 per cent), fat content (0.5 per cent) and ash content (0.57 per cent) of whey-maize pap.
“Whey contains high quality and nutritious dairy proteins like alpha-lactoglobulins, beta-lactoglobulins, bovine serum albumin, and immunoglobulins and is good for healthy living due to its richness in the essential amino acids especially the branched-chain amino acids which include leucine, isoleucine, and valine,” they submitted.
“Thus, the observed increase in protein and ash content of the whey-fortified maize ogi is arguably due to nutrients contribution from whey,” the findings said.
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