The objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability of new formulations of six corn-soy blended flours (CSB) and six lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) with different quantities of milk and qualities of soy to be used for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). Furthermore, we wanted to explore the acceptability of foods currently used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in Burkina Faso to identify possible barriers that could affect the acceptability of the new formulations of supplementary foods. The study was carried out prior to a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of these new formulations. The study involved an observed test-meal and a three-day take-home ration of the experimental food supplements to 6- to 30-months-old healthy children, followed by questionnaire-based interviews about the acceptability of these supplements. Interviews and focus group discussions were carried out to explore the acceptability of foods currently used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition. The results suggest that both LNS and CSB products with different quantities of milk and qualities of soy are equally well accepted among healthy children in rural Burkina Faso based on general appreciation of the supplements and organoleptic properties. All experimental foods received good ratings and there was no significant difference between the foods. However, after the take-home ration, 58% of participants receiving CSB reported having left-overs at the end of the day compared to 37% (n = 33) of the participants receiving LNS (p = 0.004), suggesting that CSB was not as readily consumed as LNS. Yet, both CSB and LNS products were perceived as easy to administer and the frequency of feeding was estimated to be adequate. The study also found that similar foods, used for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition, were well appreciated in the study location. LNS were to a higher degree associated with medicine or foods with medicinal properties, but both LNS and CSB were perceived as beneficial to child health.
Keywords: Acceptability; Corn soy blend; Lipid-based nutrient supplement; Malnutrition; Moderate acute malnutrition; Supplementary food.
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