ACHA: A Potential Grain as a Food Fortifier
Keywords:Acha (Fonio), Potential, Standard diet, Fortifier, Whole grain
Acha (Fonio), in particular, is sometimes regarded as â€œthe grain of lifeâ€ due to the fact that it provides food early in the farming season, when other crops are yet to mature for harvest. West Africans have cultivated it across the dry Savannas and it is probably one of the oldest African cereals which have been in existence for thousands of years.
In Nigeria, Acha (Fonio) products are recommended as choice sources of carbohydrate for diabetic patients. Today, it is the most expensive grain crop in Nigeria, providing resource for poor farmers and alleviating poverty. The possibility of Acha (Fonio) (which is light and easy to digest) been included in many different cereal based recipes, is not farfetched, thus making it an attractive ingredient for health food products usable by those with gluten intolerance, poor health or for baby food.
Acha (Fonio) contains 7% crude protein which is high in Leucine (9.8%) Methionine (5.6%) and Valine (5.5%). The protein in the crop is reported to be unique; in that it has greater methionine content than other cereals. It is reputed to contain almost twice as much methionine as egg protein does.
It is on this premise that the potential of the crop as a food fortifier is been looked into due to its very important possibility of its use not only as survival food, but as a complement for standard diets.
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Micronutrient Fortification of Food: Technology and Quality Control
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