The Availability of Processed Fruit Products and Their Contents of Vitamins A and C in Nairobi, Kenya
Olielo, T. K. O.
Rombo, G. O.
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In Kenya, among children of less than five years, 84% have vitamin A deficiency, 73.4% have iron deficiency, and 51% have zinc deficiency. Among women, 39% have vitamin A deficiency, while among pregnant women, 60% have iron deficiency. Among adult males, 16% have iron deficiency. Improving vitamin A status of children in developing countries reduces child death rates by 20-50%. The WHO recommends per capita consumption of 200 g of fruit on average daily to supply vitamins. Consumption of fruit is low because of lack of awareness on benefits of fruit, poverty and post-harvest losses due to lack of skills for processing and storage. The objectives of this research were to survey household consumption of foods especially processed fruit products in Nairobi, and analyze nutritional quality of processed fruit products. Three estates representing different income groups were selected for the study. Household monthly low, middle, and high incomes were, respectively KES ≤14000, KES 14001 to 56000 and KES >56000; (KES 69 = US$1). A random sample of 130 households per estate was interviewed using 24 hour recall for seven days to assess consumption of processed fruit products. Laboratory analyses were carried out on contents of vitamin A and C. Results showed that all income groups did not consume recommended amounts of fruit products. Those who consumed processed fruit products consisted of 4.5% low income, 33% middle income and 62.5% high income households. Per capita annual consumption by the low income averaged 2.9 L fruit soft drinks, by the middle income was 5.9 L fruit soft drinks and 0.51 kg fruit preserve, and by high income group were 12 L fruit soft drinks and 0.95 kg fruit preserve. Per capita average consumption per annum was 7 L fruit soft drinks and 0.5 kg fruit preserve. Laboratory analysis of processed fruit products showed that they had good content of vitamin C and some vitamin A. However, vitamins are not included in national standards for these products. Quality failure involved one fruit-flavoured drink because it was labelled with fruit pictorial. It is recommended that public education be carried out on use of fruit products for nutrition, poverty reduction and health. Processors should apply quality standards, nutritional labelling and controlled pricing to improve consumption of fruit products. Results of this study shall be useful to processors, consumers, nutritionists, government agencies and UN organizations for promoting production, processing, and consumption of fruit products by Kenyans.