Aaron, G. J. J.; Lo, N. Ba; Hess, S. Y. Y.; Guiro, A. T. T.; Wade, S.; Ndiaye, N. F. F.; Guinard, J.-X. J.-X. & Brown, K. H. H.
We completed a series of studies to assess the acceptability of zinc-fortified, cereal-based complementary foods and zinc-fortified wheat breads. Young children and their caregivers completed acceptability tests with complementary foods fortified with iron only (60 mg iron as ferrous fumarate per kilogram cereal flour), or the same level of iron and zinc (240 mg zinc as zinc oxide per kilogram cereal flour), and the caregivers completed triangle taste tests to compare the same products. A separate group of adult participants completed acceptability tests with wheat breads fortified with iron and folic acid (15 mg iron as ferrous fumarate per kilogram flour and 1.5 mg folic acid per kilogram flour) or the same levels of iron-folic acid and 2 levels of zinc (63 mg zinc or 126 mg zinc as zinc oxide per kilogram flour). Finally, a threshold test was administered to another group of adult participants to compare nonfortified wheat bread to breads fortified with zinc in 80 mg increments ranging from 80 to 400 mg zinc as zinc oxide per kilogram flour. All products were acceptable when compared to non-zinc-fortified equivalents, and were well liked by the respective participants. For the triangle tests, caregivers were not able to detect significant differences between products. For threshold tests, adult participants detected differences in breads prepared from fortified wheat flour at 80 mg, 160 mg, and 320 mg zinc per kilogram flour, but not at 240 mg and 400 mg zinc per kilogram flour, respectively, when compared to nonfortified bread equivalents. Zinc fortification of cereal flours in the ranges of fortification that were tested does not adversely affect the acceptability of complementary foods and breads prepared from these flours. Practical Application: Fortification of staple food products is a low-cost approach to deliver additional micronutrients (including zinc) to large segments of a population. Determining the acceptability of products fortified with zinc is an important step in the development of zinc fortification programs.