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Does The Consumption Of Amylase-containing Gruels Impact On The Energy Intake And Growth Of Congolese Infants?

M Moursi, F Mbemba, S Trèche

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AbstractObjective:To assess the effect of the incorporation of amylase in maize-based flours prepared as gruels on the energy intake and growth of Congolese infants.Design:A randomised controlled trial. At 18 weeks of age, infants were randomised into either an intervention group, where they were provided with a maize/soya-based flour that contained amylase, or a control group, where they were provided with a similar flour that did not contain amylase.Setting:Urban borough of Poto-Poto in Brazzaville, The Congo.Subjects:Eighty infants (40 in each group) were randomised into intervention and control groups. Three infants in the intervention group and two controls subsequently dropped out.Results:At 24 weeks, the addition of amylase resulted in a significant increase in energy intake (in kJ kg-1day-1) from gruels (P=0.02) without affecting breast milk consumption. In contrast, total energy intake (in kJ kg-1day-1) did not differ significantly between groups (P=0.08). After adjustment for morbidity and previous growth, infants in the intervention group showed better growth in length during the trial (+0.22 cm month-1;P=0.04), especially between 24 and 31 weeks of age (+0.51 cm month-1;P>0.01). There were no differences in weight velocity between groups.Conclusions:The findings of this study suggest that the consumption of amylase-treated gruels allows an increase in energy intake from these gruels without affecting breast milk consumption but has no impact on total daily energy intake. However, if started after 6 months, it could be effective in preventing faltering of infant linear growth.