Background: Protein-energy malnutrition is regarded as a public health problem in developing countries as a result of poor feeding practices due to poverty. This study, therefore, is aimed at protein evaluation of two samples (Cerelac based on rice with milk and Ghoncheh based on rice with milk) of commercial weaning food.

Methods: Biological evaluation of the formulas was conducted in 21-day-old weaning Wistar rats, compared to a control diet of casein. The nutrient quality of the weaning foods was monitored by measuring Protein Efficiency Ratio (PER), Net Protein Ratio (NPR), Relative Net Protein Ratio (RNPR), True Protein Digestibility (TPD), Apparent Digestibility (AD), and Food Efficiency Ratio (FER).

Results: The content of TPD for Casein, Cerelac, and Ghoncheh was 93.77, 93.71, and 78.23, respectively, and the results among groups was significant (P<0.0001). NPR value of Casein, Cerelac, and Ghoncheh was 4.38, 3.45, and 2.93, respectively. Results among the groups were significant (P<0.0001). PER value of Casein, Cerelac, and Ghoncheh was 3.05, 2.22, and 1.4, respectively. Results among the groups was significant (P<0.0001).

Conclusions: Results indicate that TPD, NPR, and PER values of Cerelac were higher than Ghoncheh.

Key words: Protein quality; Biological evaluation; Weaning food  
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