Assessment of nutrient contents of foods widely grown and consumed in Morogoro municipality

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Nutrient contents of foods widely grown and commonly consumed in Morogoro Municipality were determined, aiming at establishing nutrient composition databases of foods in the study area. Data was collected in dry (July to September) and wet (January to March) seasons. A total of 144 respondents were selected from eight wards using simple random technique. Selected nutrient contents of raw and cooked foods were analyzed according to the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC, 2000). Results show that majority (93.06%) of the households grew maize and variety of green leafy vegetables namely pumpkin leaves (90.28%), cowpeas leaves (88.89%) and sweet potato leaves (78.47%). Green leafy vegetables are consumed daily (95.13%) with stiff porridge (ugali) (93%) made from refined maize flour as a staple dish sometimes with beans, a major source of protein in the area. Majority (83%) had two meals per day; the rest had three meals a day. Nutrient contents of selected foods compare well with those reported elsewhere, however, major differences were found in carbohydrate contents in raw maize flour (67%), and cooked green banana variety mtwike (18%), these values were lower than reported. Calcium and iron contents were higher in raw amaranthus (0.74%) and cassava leaves (0.012%) than reported (0.011% and 0.003%, respectively). Content of nutrients also differed between raw and cooked food. This was so apparent in leafy green vegetables, whereby difference was found between raw amaranthus (739 mg/100g calcium) and cooked amaranthus (292 mg/100 g calcium). The loss could be due to the practice of throwing away cooking water before the final steps of cooking. Based on these findings, it can be recommended that further studies on determination of nutrient contents of foods produced in different zones of the country need to be conducted to enable people to choose foods appropriately based on their nutrients and energy needs.



Nutrient contents, Food, Morogoro municipality