Nutritional characterisation of Zambian Moringa oleifera: acceptability and safety of short-term daily supplementation in a group of malnourished girls

Michela Barichella, Gianni Pezzoli, Samanta A. Faierman, Benedetta Raspini, Martina Rimoldi, Erica Cassani, Simona Bertoli, Alberto Battezzati, Alessandro Leone, Laura Iorio, Valentina Ferri, Giovanna Pinelli, Chiara Pusani, Carlotta Bolliri, Roberto Cilia, Serena Caronni, Patrizia De Marco, Emanuele Cereda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Zambia, chronic malnutrition still is one of the most common problem among children. To fight against malnutrition, the easiest short-term solution could be to combine specific types of food with affordable local plants. A large variety of natural food resources grow in Zambia, such as Moringa oleifera (MO), whose leaves are known for their health benefits, but are not consumed much by local populations. We analysed Zambian MO powder obtained from dried leaves and found that it contains large amounts of protein, minerals and vitamins, such as iron, calcium and carotenoids. These characteristics make MO a good and sustainable complementary solution to malnutrition. We also evaluated the acceptability and the safety of dietary supplementation with MO powder in malnourished children for 30 days. A daily dose of 14 g daily was safe and well accepted. Its regular use in the menu of local populations may be viable proposition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 23 2018

Keywords

  • body composition
  • malnutrition
  • Moringa oleifera
  • nutritional facts
  • oral supplementation
  • Zambia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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