Effect of Steeping and Germination on the Diastatic Activity and Sugar Content in Amaranth Grains and Viscosity of Porridge
Ochola, S. A.
Kanensi, O. J.
Gikonyo, N. K.
MetadataShow full item record
According to Kenya Demographic Health Survey, 7% of children under five years were wasted with those between 12 to 23 months having the highest levels of wasting (7.5%). The children suffer from protein energy malnutrition (PEM) which may lead to physical, mental and motor development retardation. Children are most at risk of PEM during introduction of complementary foods usually thin porridge prepared predominantly from cereals and starchy tubers. Such porridge is high in starch, limiting intake due to thick consistency and childres small stomachs. There is need to develop nutrient-dense complementary foods. Amaranth grain has high biological value proteins and a better amino acid profile than nearly all cereals. It is also rich in essential fatty acids. However it is not commonly used as a complementary food in Kenya. It could give a nutrient dense complementary food with suitable processing methods. The main objective was to determine the effect of steeping and germination time on diastatic activity, reducing and non reducing sugar content of amaranth grains and the viscosity of porridge made from these grains. The grains were steeped and germinated for various periods. Diastatic activity, reducing and non reducing sugar content of grains and viscosity of their porridge were determined. After steeping for 5 hour and germination for 72 hours, diastatic activity increased about two and a half times, reducing sugars content increased by 13.1% while non reducing sugars increased by 17%. The viscosity was least (100 ns/m 2) after steeping for 5 hours and germinating for 72 hours. Steeping and germination of amaranth grain increased diastatic activity enhancing conversion of starch to sugars reflected by increase in sugars. The viscosity of porridge made from the steeped and germinated grain significantly reduced. This could encourage use of more flour in making complementary foods increasing dry matter utilization and nutrients consumed.