© 2019 South African Association of Botanists Adequate nutrition is fundamental for optimal human well-being and productivity. Mahewu, a non-alcoholic cereal grain beverage, is prepared in many rural settings in southern Africa by fermenting maize meal porridge. People of all age groups, including infants, consume mahewu. However, the drink is deficient in essential amino acids and some micronutrients. This study investigated the effects of adding Moringa oleifera leaf powder (MOLP) on the nutritional composition and consumer acceptability of mahewu. Moringa oleifera leaf powder-supplemented mahewu was prepared by substituting a portion of the maize meal used in a traditional recipe with MOLP at 2, 4 and 6% (w/w) levels. The MOLP was boiled and added to the fermented porridge (mahewu) prior to consumption. The nutritional composition of the resulting mahewu samples and standard traditional mahewu were analyzed using AOAC methods. Sensory evaluation was conducted using (n = 52) untrained panelists who rated the samples on a 5-point hedonic scale. Adding MOLP resulted in a significant (p < .05) increase in the total mineral content (ash), selected mineral elements, fat and fiber content of the beverage. The Calcium content increased by 350, 700 and 950% in mahewu samples supplemented with 2, 4 and 6% MOLP, respectively. The Iron content increased by 106, 214 and 287% in the same order of MOLP substitution levels. However, consumer acceptability decreased as the percentage of MOLP increased in the beverage. The color and aroma of mahewu were the sensory attributes most affected by MOLP supplementation. These results indicate that blanched MOLP could be used to enhance the nutritional profile of maize meal-based staple foods.
- Consumer acceptability
- Nutrient deficiency