oa South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition - Consumption and wastage of home-fortified maize flour products in northern Malawi : original research



The objective of the study was to determine the amount of home-fortified maize flour products consumed and wasted by women aged 15-49 years, and children aged ≤ 5 years. Design: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study.

The study took place in Ekwendeni, a home fortification project area in Mzimba District, Northern Region, Malawi.
The study subjects were members of a random sample of 205 households practising home fortification.
The study's outcome measures included weighing fortified , a thick maize flour-based porridge which was consumed, and its leftovers, using a kitchen scale. Using systematic random sampling, fortified maize flour and samples were collected from households for energy, iron, zinc and vitamin A analysis. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics.
The food intake and plate waste of fortified food products pertaining to 94 children (49% male and 51% female) and 173 women wasanalysed. Predominantly, (55%) was the main food product made from fortified maize flour. Other foods were porridge and chigumu, whole maize flour-based bread. Overall, the daily average consumption of fortified foods (, porridge and ) was 332 g/day for children, and 1011 g/day for women. Plate waste accounted for 25% of the food served to the children, and 12% served to the women. Discarding fortified nsima resulted in a 23% loss of energy and micronutrients in the children, and a 11.2% loss in the women.
Commonly consumed home-fortified maize flour products were , porridge and . The plate waste of the fortified foods, primarily nsima, resulted in considerable loss of energy and micronutrients, especially in the children. Home-fortification interventions should include nutrition messages on food budgeting to minimise food and nutrient losses in women and children in northern Malawi.


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