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Friday, June 10, 2011

Amylase Rich Food (ARF)

Preparation of ARF at the MRI laboratory
During complementary feeding (after 6 months of age), traditionally; the first food introduced to a child is porridge. This is usually prepared from a cereal or cereal flour such as mung, cowpea or ulundu. These porridges tend to have a high viscosity and a low energy content, which may not meet the daily energy requirements of the child.

The addition of ARF lowers the dietary bulk and increased the energy content, thus making the porridge easier to consume as well as increasing the calorie content per unit volume of food consumed.

ARF can be easily produced inexpensively at home. The preparatory method can be seen below:

1. Select whole, unbroken grains (i.e. mung, cowpea, ulundu) 

2. Soak the grains in water until sprouting takes place (around 48 hours)

3. Dry in the sun / roast lightly on low flame

4. Powder by hand pounding or in an electric grinder

5. Store in a wide mouthed screw cap bottle

6. Add one teaspoonful powder to the cereal during the preparation of feeding

Homemade ARF is both easy and inexpensive to help prepare a low-bulk, high-energy dense meal for your child.

Teaching mothers the easy and inexpensive method of preparing ARF at the household level

Source: Gopaldas T, Deshpande S, Chinnamma J. Studies on a wheat-based amylase-rich food. The United Nations University. 

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