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1.1 Background of the study
Complementary foods are defined by the WHO as any food or liquid other than breast
milk. Thus definition means that infant formulas and follow on formulas (human milk
substitutes, HMS) are regarded as complementary food, which can be confusing since many
infants receive HMS from the first weeks of life.
The incidence of diabetes is increasing in an exponential manner globally and to combat
them, a raise in demand for food containing complex carbohydrates with higher levels of dietary
fiber and health beneficial phytochemicals has been in demand (Shobana et al. 2010).
Fortification of diets with food materials rich in phenolic acids was shown to impart
antimutagenic, antiglycemic, and antioxidative properties, and this can be exploited in
developing health foods (Friedman, 2011). Utilization of Wholegrain cereals in food
formulations is increasing worldwide, since they are rich sources of phytochemicals and dietary
fiber which offer several health benefits (Jones and Engleson, 2010).
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that regular consumption of whole grain
cereals and their products can protect against the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes,
gastrointestinal cancers and a range of other disorders (McKeown 2016). The finger millets are
normally prepared from the whole meal, the dietary fiber, minerals, phenolics and vitamins
concentrated in the outer layer of the grain or the seed coat form the part of the food and offer
their nutritional and health benefits (Antony et al. 2014).
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However, unripe plantain meal is usually consumed by Nigerian diabetic patients to
reduce post pyramidal glucose level. In Nigeria, people consume plantains as a natural way to
manage diabetes. Some studies show they may have a hypoglycemic effect, or help control
blood sugar levels, especially unripe plantains. The fiber in plantains could help
blood sugar levels stay steady longer (Baiyeri, et al. 2018). Plantain can be eaten boiled, roasted,
grilled or fried. The unripe one can also be used for porridge or roasted, whether ripe or unripe
can be used to make plantain chips (Oladele and Khokhar, 2016).
Shobana et al 2010 reported that plantain contain antioxidants, Saponins, flavonoids,
tannins, and alkaloids are the dominant phenolic compounds. Flavonoids, alkaloids and tannins
are polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant properties (Ogazi, 2014). They have been
associated with colour, sensory qualities, and nutritional and antioxidant properties of food in
addition (Onyejegbu and Olorunda, 2017). The United Nation’s International Children
Emergency Fund (UNICEF 2012) reported that phenolic compounds in plants possess
antioxidant activity and may help protect cells against the oxidative damage caused by free
radicals. Also, the dietary fibre decreases the absorption of cholesterol from the gut in addition to
delaying the digestion and conversion of starch to simple sugars and this is an important factor in
the management of diabetes (Udoh, et al 2016).
Finger millet is also a good choice for diabetes due to its high fiber content. Fiber helps
slow digestion. As a result, sugar enters the bloodstream slowly, lessening the risk of a
blood sugar spike (Miyake and Shibamoto, 2013). Although anyone can reap the nutritional
benefits of eating finger millet, it's been shown to be especially beneficial
for diabetes management, making it one of the better whole grains for managing blood sugar
(Navita and Sumathi, 2015).
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Nutritional potential of finger millet in terms of protein, carbohydrate and energy values
are comparable to the popular cereals like rice, wheat, barley or bajra. Finger millet contains
about 58% protein, 12% ether extractives, 6575% carbohydrates, 1520% dietary fiber and
2.53.5% minerals (Chethan and Malleshi 2017). It has the highest calcium content among all
cereals (344 mg/100 g). However, finger millet also contains phytates (0.48%), tannins (0.61%),
trypsin as phenolics, and dietary fiber, which were once considered as anti-nutrients” due to
their metal chelating and enzyme inhibition activities (Thompson, 2013). But nowadays they are
termed as neutraceuticals. The seed coat of finger millet is an edible component of the kernel and
is a rich source of phytochemicals, such as dietary fiber and polyphenols (0.2 3.0%) (Hadimani
and Malleshi 2012; Ramachandra et al. 2011). It is now established that phytates and tannins can
contribute to antioxidant activity of the millet foods, which is an important factor in health, aging
and metabolic diseases (Bravo, 2015). Finger millet’s high fiber content slows digestion and
releases sugar into the bloodstream at a more even pace (Thompson, 2013). This helps diabetes
patients to avoid dangerous spikes in blood sugar that lead to glucose spilling over into the urine,
known as glucosuria. Finger millet also contains high quantities of methionine, an amino acid
that is deficient in most grains, giving millet a valuable place in a vegetarian diet (Hadimani and
Malleshi, 2012).
1.2 Statement of the problem
Finger millet reduce the risk of Diabetes Milletus, slows the absorption of sugar into the
bloodstream, planting helps to reduce blood glucose level.
Finger millet is used as a source of food for humans, beverage companies, in weaning
babies in form of pap, finger millet is low in calories, contains certain amino acids which prevent
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fat accumulation in the liver. Plantain can be used as a remedy for cough, wounds and inflamed
skin. Bioavailability of some nutrients present in plantain and finger miller can be used to limit
or reduce the acute or chronic diabetes or type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
1.3 Objective of the study:
The general objective of this study is to evaluate complimentary food produced from
unripe plantain and finger millet.
The specific objective of this research work are to determine:
The proximate composition of the blend.
The mineral composition of the blend.
The anti-oxidant properties of the blend.
To evaluate the sensory attribute of the meal produce from the blends.
1.4 Justification
The high rate diabetes has been a problem to people in our various societies. Hence the need for
complimentary meal that is nutritious, affordable and readily available in product by using
plantain and finger millet. Processing methods like (soaking and fermenting.) that reduce the
anti-nutrient content of the plantain and finger millet enhance biological availability of the
nutrients and by extension the nutritional value.
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Literature review
2.1 Sources and availability of raw material
Finger millets and plantains are all available in the northern and southern Nigeria. Because of the
availability of these products, producer and supplier of agricultural products in Nigeria was
established in 2012. Primary products include plantain flour, millet, sorghum, etc (Obinna-
Echem, 2014). However, Nigerian domestic economy is dominated by agriculture, which
accounts for about 40% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and two-thirds of the labour force.
Agriculture supplies food, raw materials and generates household income for the majority of the
people. The food subsector of Nigerian agriculture parades a large array of staple crops, made
possible by the diversity of agro-ecological production systems. The major food crops are: finger
millet, plantain and others. These are the commodities that are of considerable importance for
food security, produce by farmers. Of all the major food crops, finger millet has risen to a
position of preeminence. The importance of finger millet and plantain as sources of food for man
cannot be over emphasized, particularly in Nigeria. Finger millet and plantain, depending on the
processing technique and the types of product employed, have offered a wide range of food
products to man, particularly in Nigeria. Finger millet and plantain have formed the major food-
based supply, particularly in Nigeria (Omimawo & Akubor, 2018).
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2.2 Importance of finger millet and plantain
Regular consumption of finger millet is known to reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus.
This property is attributed to its high polyphenols and dietary fiber contents. Finger millet is
an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help slow the absorption of sugar into the
bloodstream. One 2015 study found that ready-to-cook little finger millet flakes had a medium
GI of 52.11 and a low GL of 9.24. Due to the nutritional content of the flakes, the study authors
suggest that they may be beneficial in the management of metabolic conditions (Chethan and
Malleshi, 2017). Finger millet is considered superior to cereals with respect to some of nutrients
especially protein, mineral and fat. However, the presence of various antinutrients, poor
digestibility of the protein and carbohydrates and low palatability greatly affects its utilization as
a food (Bravo, 2015). Finger millet is nutritionally similar or superior to major cereal grains. The
additional benefits of the finger millet like gluten-free proteins, high fibre content, low
glycaemic index and richness in bioactive compounds made them a suitable health food
(Kannan, Thooyavathy, Kariyapa, Subramanian and Vijayalakshmi, 2013).
Finger millets fall under the group of C4 cereals. C4 cereals take more carbon dioxide
from the atmosphere and convert it to oxygen, have high efficiency of water use, require low
input and hence are more environments friendly. Thus, finger millet can help to phase out
climatic uncertainties, reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, and can contribute in mitigating the
climate change. Millets are climate resilient crops, and they may play an important role in
reducing greenhouse gases by mitigating emission of nitrous oxide into the environment
(Dayakar and Bhaskarachary, 2017). The role of finger millet in designing the modern foods like
multigrain and gluten-free cereal products is well known. Due to the richness of millets in
polyphenols and other biological active compounds, they are also considered to impart role in
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lowering rate of fat absorption, slow release of sugars (low glycaemic index) and thus reducing
risk of diabetes and high blood pressure (Chandel, Kumar, Dubey and Kumar, 2014).
However, unripe plantain is a natural source of resistant starch that helps to reduce blood
glucose levels, so it is considered an excellent ingredient for food fortification. Medical research
confirms that the plantain is also good for many of life’s ailments including diabetes (Oladele and
Khokhar, 2016). Unripe plantain has the potential of lowering blood sugar, according to a study, titled
“Hypoglycemic effect of methanolic extract of Musa paradisiaca (Musaceae) green fruits in normal and
diabetic mice”. It was published in Experimental Clinical Pharmacology by Ojewole and Adewunmi
(2016). Although this group of researchers did not reveal the precise mechanism of the
hypoglycemic (blood sugar-lowering) action of unripe plantain, at least in part, the mechanism
stimulates insulin production and subsequent glucose utilisation. Nevertheless, the findings of
this experimental animal study indicate that unripe plaintain possesses hypoglycemic activity
lends credence to its folkloric use in the management and/or control of adult-onset, type-2
diabetic mellitus among the Yoruba-speaking people of South-Western Nigeria (Baiyeri, Aba,
Otitoju and Mbah, 2018).
Finger millet is milled with the testa which is generally rich in dietary fiber and micronutrients to
prepare flour and the whole meal is utilized in the preparation of traditional foods, such as roti
(unleavened breads), ambali (thin porridge) and mudde (dumpling) (Mangala, Ramesh, Udayasankar &
Tharanathan, 2016). On daily consumption of whole grain of finger millet and its products can protect
against the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, and gastrointestinal cancers and other health
issues (Raghu & Bhattacharya, 2010). A research paper has documented this formula and tracked its
impact on people with diabetes. The study, undertaken by M V Hospital for Diabetes, found that
replacing rice based with ones made of finger millet can significantly bring down sugar levels in those
suffering from type-2 diabetes (Rajasekaran, Nithya & Chandra, 2014).
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2.3 Uses of finger millet and plantain
Finger millet is used as a source of food for humans. It is very nutritious and healthy too,
a recommended food for babies and the elderly. A lot of mothers weaned all their babies with
millet after exclusive breast feeding. Finger millet can be used for pap. Beverage companies also
use millets in making drinks. Millets are used to prepare alcoholic beverages. Finger millets are
traditionally important grains used in brewing millet beer in some cultures. It is also the base
ingredient for the distilled liquor and the indigenous alcoholic drink (Achi, 2015). Millets are
major food sources and feature in the traditional cuisine of many others. Finger millet porridge is
a traditional food some cultures. It is widely used in baking bread as a millet flour, it can also be
cooked or serve as an alternative for plantain, and in Nigeria like in most African countries, it is
used to make porridge or millet juice, commonly known as kunu. In addition to being used for
seed, millet is also used as a grazing forage crop. Instead of letting the plant reach maturity it can
be grazed by stock and is commonly used for sheep and cattle (Ijarotimi and Famurewa, 2016).
Finger Millet contains many important compounds such as Tryptophan, Threonine,
Valine, Isoleucine, and Methionine. Isoleucine is useful in muscle repairing and formation of the
bones. These nutrients are essential for maintaining skin health and body's metabolism. It
maintains the whole body weight. Tryptophan is an Amino Acid, it lowers the appetite. It delays
the digestion which controls the eating urge and keeps the stomach full for a long time. It
consists of low calories which help to cure Obesity. Finger Millet is a good source of Calcium.
Therefore, it reduces the risk of Osteoporosis and Fracture. It is a good herbal remedy to prevent
Diabetes (Rajasekaran, Nithya & Chandra, 2014). Finger Millet regulates the blood glucose level
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in the body. It removes the excess fat from the liver and reduces cholesterol level in the body. It
contains certain Amino Acids which prevents the fat accumulation in the liver. This helps in
curing High Blood Pressure. Consumption of Finger Millet gives iron to the body. This helps to
treat Anemia. It provides a relaxing effect on the body, mind, and soul. Thus, is an effective
remedy to cure Depression, Anxiety, and Insomnia. Its regular intake provides energy to the
body. It is a healthy diet for lactating mothers. It increases the hemoglobin levels in women and
improves the milk production (Chethan and Malleshi, 2017).
On the other hand, plantain has long been considered by herbalists to be a useful remedy
for cough, wounds, inflamed skin or dermatitis, and insect bites (Mohapatra, Mishra and Sutar,
2018). Bruised or crushed leaves have been applied topically to treat insect bites and
stings, eczema , and small wounds or cuts. It was considered by herbalists to be a gentle,
soothing expectorant and additionally to have a mild astringent effect said to help
remedy hemorrhoids or bladder infections with mild amounts of blood in the urine (Kanazawa
and Sakakibara, 2016). Plantain is cultivated in many tropical countries of the world, and it is
known to be rich in iron, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and serotonin (Folayan and Bifarin, 2017).
In folklore medicine, unripe plantain is useful in the management of diabetes, treatment
of anemia, and liver disorders (independent of diabetes) (Jimmy and Okon, 2012). Although the
antidiabetic potentials of unripe plantain on animal models have been reported Ojewole and
Adewunmi, (2013), the biochemical basis of its folkloric use in the management of diabetes and
liver dysfunctions has not been fully investigated. In addition, there is paucity of information in
literature on the effect of unripe plantain on hepatic dysfunction arising from diabetes or other
sources (alcohol, viral hepatitis or demographic factors) (Iweala, Obichi and Omotosho, 2018).
Since the incidence of hepatic complications arising solely from diabetes mellitus is gradually on
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the increase and though it is most prevalent in patients of type 2 diabetes, results obtained from
this study could provide an insight into the prospects of unripe plantain in the management of
hepatic dysfunction arising from type 2 diabetes (Ekpo, Ajibesin, Eseyin and Danladi, 2017).
Unripe plantain is a diabetes-friendly food because it contains a low amount of sugar
content. Also, fibre has been shown to help stabilise blood sugar. And unripe plantain contains
lots of fibre (Iweala, Obichi and Omotosho, 2018).
2.4 Nutritional benefit of finger millet and plantain in treating a diabetes patient
Many nutritive minerals are essential to living organisms because they are used to
activate hormone, enzymes, and other organic molecules that participate in the growth, function
and maintenance of life processes. The consumption of plantain promote weight loss in obese
individuals and caters to the calorific need of many developing countries (Kanazawa and
Sakakibara, 2000; Mohapatra et al., 2010). Phytochemicals are known to occur in various parts
of plants with diverse functions which include provision of strength to plants, attraction of
insects for pollination and feeding, defence against predators, provision of colour, while some
are simply waste products (Ibegbulem et al., 2013). When ingested by animals these secondary
metabolites exhibit varied biochemical and pharmacological actions.
Nutritionally, plantains pack a huge punch. They are naturally low in sodium, high
in potassium, and rich in antioxidants. One cup of ripe plantain delivers around 200 calories, 0.5
grams of total fat, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of dietary fiber, 22 grams of sugar, and
2 grams of protein. Plantains are rich in vitamins A, C, and B6, which can help promote eye
health, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Plantains are also high
in fiber, an indigestible carbohydrate that can improve bowel function and help regulate glucose
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and fat absorption in the intestine (Lattimer and Haub, 2018). Plantain is a good source of
carbohydrate; therefore it is an energy giving food. And the good news is that the carbohydrates it
contains are considered as “complex carbohydrate” which includes starch, fibre and sugar. On the other
hand, because of the high carbohydrate content, one need to monitor their intake of plantain;
otherwise, their blood sugars will spike. Comparatively speaking, one cup of plantains is equal to
eating 2.5 slices of bread (Oladele and Khokhar, 2011). However, cooked plantains are
nutritionally very similar to a potato, calorie-wise, but contain more of
certain vitamins and minerals. They're a rich source of fiber, vitamins A, C, and B-6, and
the minerals magnesium and potassium (Ekpo, Ajibesin, Eseyin and Danladi, 2017).
Finger millet is exceptionally rich in calcium (344 mg%) compared to all other cereals
and millets (eightfold higher than pearl millet) and contains 283 mg% phosphorus, 3.9 mg% iron
(Gopalan et al., 2009), and many other trace elements and vitamins. Potassium content of finger
millet is also high (408 mg%) compared to other cereals and millets. High calcium finger millet
varieties have also been reported elsewhere, and the “Hamsa” variety of finger millet was
reported to contain much higher levels of calcium (660 mg%) (Umapathy & Kulsum, 2007). The
phytic acid content of finger millet was lower than the levels present in common (proso) millet
and foxtail millet and the values were in the range of 0.450.49 g% for different varieties of
finger millet. The oxalate contents of finger millet were in the range of 2930 mg% (Ravindran,
2009). Kurien, Joseph, Swaminathan, and Subrahmanyan (2010) reported that nearly 49% of
total calcium content of finger millet is present in the husk. Sripriya, Antony, and Chandra
(2008) reported that germination and fermentation of finger millet decreased the phytate content
by 60% and improved bioavailability of minerals. Platel, Eipeson, and Srinivasan (2010) also
reported increased bioaccessibility of minerals (iron, manganese) on malting of finger millet.
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