Consumption of food in sufficient quantities and of nutritional value is indispensable for growing babies and toddlers. After the baby reaches 6 months of age, the nutritional content of breast milk is no longer sufficient and the baby’s energy needs increase by 24-30% compared with the needs of a baby at 3-5 months of age1. The development of digestive tract motility allows babies to obtained food in other ways. Therefore, the baby needs food instead of breast milk and this food are called the complementary food of breast milk.
Fish and other aquatic organisms contain 18-20% of the proteins required. Advantages of using aquatic organisms are that the protein is easily digested and contains the complete compliment of required amino acids. One local food source of protein that can be used as a primary ingredient in the manufacture of food complementary to breast milk is snakehead fish.
Snakehead fish extract has a good potential to increase serum albumin in post-operative patients. It also has antioxidants, which react with free radicals2. Functional food additives in biscuits fortified with snakehead fish, Zn and iron have been shown to increase hemoglobin, albumin and immunoglobulin G levels in children3.
To improve the nutrient content, the raw materials of baby food can be substituted with another source of protein and vitamin A such as snakehead fish meal or pumpkin flour. The composition, as well as the right formula should produce complementary breast milk foods that are highly nutritious and acceptable to consumers.
In this context a new study was carried out which aimed at obtaining the best formula for instant baby porridge as a complementary food to breast milk, in which snakehead fish meal and pumpkin flour are used as a substitute based on their characteristic organoleptic properties, this novel complementary food can support the growth and development of babies over 6 months in age4.
Ingredients used in this instant baby porridge are gelatinized corn flour, powdered milk, snakehead fish meal, pumpkin flour, refined sugar and palm oil. The processing of instant baby porridge with snakehead fish meal and pumpkin flour was done by using the dry mixing method. The average results of organoleptic testing were based on the color, texture and taste of the porridge.
The taste of porridge was sweet and pleasing. Pumpkin flour and refined sugar give a sweet flavor, while snakehead fish meal and powdered milk give the taste of the instant porridge. The addition of sugar in complementary breast milk food sources may improve the taste of the porridge, but it should be limited since it will make the baby feel full and less likely to eat.
It can be concluded that the best formula of instant baby porridge used as a complementary food to breast milk, based on its characteristic organoleptic properties, is formula A, comprising 15% snakehead fish meal and 10% pumpkin flour.
Complementary food, instant baby porridge, organoleptic properties.
- Trahms, C.M. and K.N. McKean, 2008. Nutrition during Infancy. In: Krause’s Food and Nutrition Therapy, Mahan, L.K. and S. Escott-Stump (Eds.). 12th Edn., Elsevier, Canada, ISBN: 9781416034018, pp: 199-121.
- Mustafa, A., M.A. Widodo and Y. Kristianto, 2012. Albumin and zinc content of snakehead fish (Channa striata) extract and its role in health. J. Sci. Technol., 1: 1-8.
- Sari, D.K. S.A. Marliyani, L. Kustiyah, A. Khomsan and T. Marcelino, 2014. [Fortificant bioavailability, protein digestibility and nutrient contribution of biscuit containing snakehead (Ophiocephalus striatus) fish flour and fortified with zinc and iron]. Agritech, 34: 359-364.
- Dewi K.S., Ali R., Hafni R. and Candra, 2017. Characteristic Organoleptic Properties of Instant Baby Porridge High in Protein and Betacarotene. J. Nutr., 16: 400-405.