Khavhatondwi Rinah NetshiheniUniversity of Venda, South Africa
Title: Microbial and Nutritional properties of maize porridge fortified with Moringa oleifera leaves and termite powders
Malnutrition is a major health concern caused by a deficiency or excessiveness of essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in a diet. Malnutrition affects growth and development of children and increases their risk of death from common childhood illness. Children who are undernourished stand a great chance of being sick as compared to well-nourished children. Although micronutrient deficiency is not visible to the naked eye, it can greatly impact one’s wellbeing and is prevalent in South African child, WHO supported the above findings by reporting that 17% and 24% of South African children under the age of five have vitamin A deficiency and anaemia, respectively. The cause of malnutrition among South African children could be attributed to the high consumption of maize porridge, which is the staple food for most people in South Africa, as reported and maize contributes significantly to the dietary intake of 80 % of households in Limpopo. Regardless of all carbohydrates contained in maize grain, maize is not a good source of essential nutrients for the human body due to the bioavailability of minerals, which are vital for proper nutrition and health),often affected by phytic acid contained in the maize grain that interferes with the absorption of minerals. This study, therefore, investigated the effect of consuming instant-maize porridge fortified with Moringa oleifera leaves and termite powders on the nutritional status of children aged 3 to 5 years in the Thulamela Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa as this could be one of the sustainable strategies in alleviating malnutrition.
Keywords: Malnutrition, microbial, moringa, Nutritional, termites