Amylase increases energy and nutrient density of Super Cereal Plus porridge as prepared and accepted by Rwandan caregivers

Britt Broersen, Sisay Sinamo, Jules Nsabimana, Tanimoune Mahamadou, Edgar Gatete, Shane Prigge, Nguyen Van Hoan, Saskia de Pee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Adding amylase to Super Cereal Plus (SC+A) improves energy and nutrient intake as porridge energy density reaches 1.0 kcal/g, meeting the recommended ≥0.8 kcal/g for prepared foods for young children. Caregiver response to SC+A in terms of adjusting porridge preparation using printed pictogram instructions was not yet investigated. The study assessed (a) porridge preparation by caregivers; (b) porridge energy density; (c) sensory porridge acceptability; and (d) understanding of preparation instructions. An 8-day follow-up intervention study was conducted amongst caregivers of children aged 6–23 months (n = 238) in Rwanda. Caregivers prepared porridge using SC+A whilst referring to printed pictogram instructions at the study site on Days 1 and 8 and received flour for preparation at home on Days 2–7. At the site, data were collected on porridge preparation procedures, energy density, consistency, acceptability, and interviews (n = 12), and focus group discussions (n = 6) were conducted. Mean porridge dry matter (DM) increased from 21.3 ± 4.4% (Day 1) to 25.1 ± 4.8% (Day 8; p < 0.0005). Flour and water were mixed before cooking by 95% of the participants, as per printed instructions. Sensory porridge acceptability was high, and the printed instructions enabled caregivers to prepare an accepted and energy dense porridge. The preferred water/flour volume ratio was 2.5 instead of 3. In conclusion, Rwandan caregivers prepared well-accepted SC+A porridges with a preferred consistency and mean DM content of 25.1% (1.0 kcal/g), after 1 week practicing at home. This supports introducing SC+A with the tested instructions at scale.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12742
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number2
Early online date30 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • alpha-amylase
  • complementary feeding
  • energy density
  • porridge preparation
  • Rwanda
  • Super Cereal Plus


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