Enhancing nutrient intake from moringa leaves through adequate consumption patterns
Moringa leaves are rich in proteins and micronutrients. Moringanews has promoted their production, processing and use in many African countries to fight against malnutrition and to develop new agricultural and entrepreneurial activities. Promoting the consumption of fresh leaves entails working on food habits and developing adequate recipes to preserve nutrients and to enhance their bioavailability. A short review of studies is presented on the effect of heat on nutrients, and on how to associate various food products to enhance bioavailability. Dried moringa leaf powder can be used to enrich food preparations such as baby flours, biscuits, pasta or almost any kind of cereal product. Moringanews has worked with nutritionists and food processors to develop these new products. A first study, implemented with the Food Research Institute in Ghana on the impact of various drying methods on moringa leaves' nutritional content is presented here. A second study, in collaboration with the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France, resulted in the design of three infant formulas made of African local products and moringa leaf powder. The third study involves the association Misola in Burkina Faso, which tested moringa leaf powder as an addition to their baby formula. Lastly, Moringanews worked with a research team at Danone to test the addition of moringa leaf powder in a pasteurized high energy paste, Lemateki, designed for school aged children in Senegal. However, the use of moringa leaf powder in processed food is limited by various factors. It is a fragile product, prone to bacterial or fungal contamination, and its production entails respecting professional food processing standards. Another limitation is the lack of shelf life studies to assess the evolution of vitamins over time. Finally, more scientific data are needed on the impact of moringa leaf consumption on the human body.
de Saint Sauveur, A., Amenglor, M.G., Kinda, J. and Colomban, F. (2017). Enhancing nutrient intake from moringa leaves through adequate consumption patterns. Acta Hortic. 1158, 235-248
moringa, recipe, bioavailability, infant formula, nutrition, enriched food, micronutrients, leafy vegetable, dried leaf