Complementary Feeding of Sorghum-Based and Corn-Based Fortified Blended Foods Results in Similar Iron, Vitamin A and Anthropometric Outcomes in the MFFAPP Tanzania Efficacy Study

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Complementary Feeding of Sorghum-Based and Corn-Based Fortified Blended Foods Results in Similar Iron, Vitamin A and Anthropometric Outcomes in the MFFAPP Tanzania Efficacy Study

10 April 2019

Current Developments in Nutrition (CDN)

Abstract

Background
Fortified blended foods (FBFs) are micronutrient fortified cereal and pulse food aid products. It has been suggested to reformulate FBFs to include whey protein concentrate, use alternative commodities (like sorghum and cowpea), and utilize processing methods such as extrusion to produce them. The Micronutrient Fortified Food Aid Pilot Project (MFFAPP) efficacy study was designed to test the efficacy of complementary feeding of newly formulated FBFs.

Objectives
To test the effectiveness of 5 newly formulated FBFs in combatting iron deficiency anemia and vitamin A deficiency compared to traditionally prepared corn-soy blend plus (CSB + ) and no intervention. A secondary aim was to determine the impact on underweight, stunting, wasting, and middle-upper-arm circumference.

Methods
A 20-week, partially randomized cluster study was completed. Two age groups (6–23 and 24–53 month old) with hemoglobin status < 10.3 g/dL, and weight-for-height scores > − 3 were enrolled and assigned to diet groups. Biochemical and anthropometric measurements were collected at 0, 10, and 20 weeks.

Results
Both hemoglobin levels and anemia odds ratio were significantly improved in all intervention groups except for CSB + and the no intervention groups at Week 20. Only extruded corn-soy blend 14 (CSB14) and no intervention age groups failed to significantly decrease vitamin A deficiency risk (P < 0.04). There were no consistent significant differences among groups in anthropometric outcomes.

Conclusions
Reformulated sorghum, cowpea, corn, and soy based FBFs significantly improved anemia and vitamin A deficiency odds ratios compared to Week 0 and to no intervention. Although newly formulated FBFs did not significantly improve vitamin A deficiency or anemia compared to CSB + , CSB + was the only FBF to not significantly improve these outcomes over the study duration. Our findings suggest that newly formulated sorghum and cowpea based FBFs are equally efficacious in improving these micronutrient outcomes. However, further FBF refinement is warranted.

Original post on Current Developments in Nutrition (CDN)

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April 18, 2019

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