Cereals form the primary foundation for most of the local weaning foods in Nigeria and they are inadequate in some essential amino acids needed for weaning infants. Baobab seed, an under-utilized crop is rich in protein but the knowledge of the utilization potential of the protein extract is yet to be readily available. Baobab seeds were sourced from Ahmadu Bello University Teaching and Research Farm, Zaria and its protein was extracted by deffating the baobab seed flour and precipitating the protein using a centrifuge. The maize meal was blended with extracted protein at 90:10, 80:20, 70:30 and 100:0 w/w, respectively and fed to 20 male albino rats for 28 days. The baobab seed flour was subjected to proximate analysis and the blood of the rats fed with the crude protein extract was evaluated for some hematological parameters [Serum Glutamate Oxaloacetate Transaminase (SGOT), Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) and Total Protein (TP)]. The histopathology of the liver and kidney was carried out to determine the effect of the residual concentration of anti-nutrients in the protein extract and the Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER) was calculated. Data obtained were subjected to Analysis of Variance and the means were separated using Duncan multiple range test at 95% probability level. The proximate values for the baobab seed flour were 8.42, 27.58, 11.87, 16.88, 9.53 and 25.72% for moisture, protein, ash, fat, crude fibre and carbohydrate contents, respectively. The range of values obtained for the SGOT, ALP and TP for test groups of 90:10, 80:20, 70:30 and 100:0 were 338 – 467.2, 130.8 – 146.6 U/L and 20 – 49 g/L, respectively. Mild inflammatory cell infiltrations were recorded in the histopathology of the kidney and liver of the experimental animals. The average PER of the test groups were 1.13, 1.60 and 1.84, compared with a value of 2.2 which is the standard value of casein protein for 90:10, 80:20 and 70:30, respectively. Baobab seed protein extract was well tolerated by the experimental rats. It was concluded that baobab seed protein extract could be a potential supplement for weaning foods.
Citation: Oyesiji OO, Ologunde MO, Adewole SA, Alawode OW, Adesola MO. 2020. Nutritional Evaluation of Weaning Food from Blends of Baobabseed Protein Extract and Maize Meal.J Food Chem Nanotechnol 6(2): 72-77.