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Nutritional value of different marketed powdered milks.


In Pakistan, unfortunately by far the most prevalent health problem among children is that of undernutrition. Thousand of children every year die simply for lack of adequate nutrition, while many more are left debilitated by its effects, impairing both physical and mental growth of the child. By lowering resistance to infection, malnutrition is an underlying and contributory factor in many of the deaths caused by gastrointestinal respiratory and other common childhood infections. These, in truth, lead to further malnutrition, thus setting up a vicious, self-reinforcing cycle of malnutrition and infection. It is not surprising, therefore, that the infant and child mortality rate in Pakistan ranks amongst the highest in the world. 1

Progress in physical growth is one of the most important criteria used to assess the nutritional status of children. A normal healthy child grows at a genetically predetermined rate that can be compromised or accelerated by under nutrition, imbalanced nutrient intake or over nutrition. 1

The nutrient intake recommended by most national and international organizations are defined as the amount sufficient for the physiologic needs of virtually all healthy persons in a population. -3

Malnutrition can result from dietary excess or imbalance as well as from deficiency, and may have subtle as well as gross effects. It may be a reflection of biochemical alternations at every level of human nutrition, ranging from variations in the composition of foods through the entire process of ingestion, digestion, absorption and ultimate utilization by the body at the molecular level-3.

Milk is an important item in the family food plan being good source of animal protein in the diet-4. Although it is not an entirely perfect food, it contains fats, carbohydrates and proteins as well as many of the vitamins and mineral-5.

Milk is traditionally considered the best food for children, but it does not mean that other foods are unnecessary and should be excluded at the expense of milk. Among foods of animal origin milk production not only ranks first in efficiency of production when both energy and protein are considered, but it also of special value in the diet as a source of calcium and vitamin A. Both of these nutrients are needed in very large amounts by children and by pregnant and nursing mothers. Milk is rich in phosphorus, but a deficiency of phosphorus occurs in human diets much less frequently than a lack of calcium or of vitamin A-6.

Milk is such an excellent source of calcium that it is not difficult to meet the daily recommended allowances for this mineral when two cups of milk or the equivalent in milk products are included in the diet. The proteins of milk have an excellent assortment of amino acids, and thus make good supplements to the proteins of cereals and vegetables. The iron content is low, and ascorbic acid normally low, is likely to be lost during processing. The common methods of processing do not appreciably change the nutrive value of the milk other than in the ascorbic acid content-5.

Maynard-7 emphasizes that since calcium cannot be supplied adequately by any combination of vegetable foods which our people can be expected to eat, the high content of calcium in milk is of special importance. One quart of milk a day supplies the full allowance of calcium recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board-2 of the National Academy of Sciences for a growing child, except during adolescence, and more than is needed by the adult, except for expectant and nursing mothers. It would take 45 eggs to supply as much calcium as is furnished by a quart of milk-6. It was also detected that a dried milk powder contained 615-953 mg Ca/100g-8.

Dried milk results from the removal of 95 to 98 per cent of the water from fresh milk. Non fat-9 dry milk is made from skim milk and accounts for most of the dry milk on the market. Dried milks are made by spraying partially evaporated milk into warm dry air air(spray process). The instantizing process produces a fine powder that dissolves instantly. One pound of non fat dry milk is equivalent to about 5 quarts of fresh skim milk and is therefore a concentrated source of protein, calcium, riboflavin and other stored and transported for they required no refrigeration. Non fat dry milk has excellent keeping qualities, but whole dried milk is subject to oxidation and consequent rancidity-10.

Keeping all these points in view it was thought worth while to assess nutritional values of different milk powders to check their effects on infant and childrens health who depend on top feeds. In the present study two different marketed milk powders were selected and their effects was noted on the weight gain of experimental albino rats.

Materials and Methods

Five groups of rats comprises of six rats in each group weighing between 70-102 grams were selected for experimental studies. Each group fed on different type of diet, the composition of Millac and Red Cow milk are given in Table-I and effect of different diet were recorded in term of body weight changes. Group-I was given slices of bread and Red Cow milk, Group-II was given slices of bread and Millac milk, Group-III was fed on gram and bread, Group-IV only bread and Group-V given gram, bread and Millac milk. This diet was given for six weeks and at the end of sixth week experimental feeding was stopped and at the completion of seventh week again weights were taken. [Tabular Data I Omitted]

Results and Discussions

Results are shown in graph-I and II. Group-I shows changes in body weight of animals, indicating effect of diet taken. Group-I fed three slices of bread and two ounces of Red Cow powder milk dissolved in 20ml distilled water. The results of this group show that on the onset of experimental diet, the weight of animals decreases in the first week, but in the next five weeks there was a gradual increase in weights of experimental animals. The animals of this group remain active, healthy and normal throughout experiment. Group-II taking feed of three slices of bread and 2 ounces of Millac milk powder dissolved in 20ml distilled water show a decrease in weight in the 1st and 2nd week but in the 3rd, 4th and 5th week there was a gradual increase in weights. All animals of this group remain normal, healthy throughout experiment. Group-III (control) feeded one lump of grams and three slices of bread shows a continues increase in weight throughout experimental period and all rats remain quite normal.

Results of group-IV shows gradual decrease in body weights of animals. This group was taking only three slices of bread, out of six animals, five remain normal and only one shows signs of leg paralysis and general body weakness.

Group-V was given one lump of grams, two ounces of Millac milk powder dissolved in 20ml distilled water and three slices of bread, this group shows gradual increase in body weights throughout experimental period of time and all animals remain healthy and normal.

When experimental feeding was stopped and all groups of animals were returned to their normal diet of gram and bread slices, it was observed that body weight of groups I, II and V decreased, while an increase was noted in the body weight of groups III (control) and IV.(Graph I) Graph-II shows % increase in weight of animals. Group-V, animals taking Millac milk, bread and gram shown highest degree of weight increase, but lowest degree of weight increase was noted in Group-II.


[1]National Health, vol. 4, No. 6, 1986, P-34. [2]Washington, D. C, National Academy of Sciences, 1974. [3]Cecil Text Book of Medicine. Beeson, P.B. and Wynganden, J.B., 1979, fifteenth edition, W. McDermoth. [4]Salahuddin, M., 1982. Poultry farming in Pakistan, Pakistan Poultry. [5]Stevenson, Gladys, T. and Miller, Cora, 1960. Introduction to Foods and Nutrition, New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. London, p-185. [6]Morrison, B. Frank, 1950. Feed and Feeding, twenty first edition. The Morrison Publishing Company, New York, p-261. [7]Maynard, Jour, Nutr., 32, 1946, p-345-60. [8]Yin, Zhongchao, Fenxi Ceshi Tong-bao, 1985, 4(5), 22-4. (CA-104, 87226r.1986) [9]Lee, A. Frank, 1983. Basic Food-Chemistry, second edition. The Avi Publishing Company, Inc., p-387. [10]Robinson, H. Corinine, 1973. Fundamentals of Normal Nutrition, second edition. Macmillan Publishers Co., p-242-43.
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Author:Yaqeen, Zahra; Mirza, Maryam; Qureshi, Shamim; Qadri, Naseem
Publication:Economic Review
Date:May 1, 1990
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