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Studies on the preparation and nutrient composition of kunun gyada, a traditional Nigerian groundnut-cereal-based weaning food

Iro Nkama, Adamu Iliyas, and Amina Jato


We investigated the methods of preparation, ratio of blends of major ingredients, and nutritional composition of kunun gyada, a traditional Nigerian weaning food based on groundnuts and cereal. The main ingredients of the formulations were partially roasted groundnuts in combination with rice, millet, maize, or sorghum flours; sugar; and tamarind (tsamiya) fruit pulp extract The weight ratios of the major ingredients were 57:43, 41:49, 51:49, and 48:52 for groundnut-rice or -millet, maize, and -sorghum kunun gynda, respectively. The nutritional composition of kunun gynda from the different blends ranged from 83% to 86% for moisture, 2.2% to 2.7% for protein, 0.7% to 1.0% for fat, 0.1% to 0.9% for fibre, and 59 to 72 kcal for energy. Recommendations for product standardization and improvement were made.


In most cultures, food habits are based on the available agricultural raw materials. Traditional cereals and grain legume crops play important roles in the diet of many people in Africa and Asia, and are major sources of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Traditional weaning foods are based on these local staples, namely rice, maize, millet, sorghum groundnuts, and beans. In the northern states of Nigeria, many traditional weaning foods are prepared mainly from cereals and grain legumes, either singly or in combination. Examples are ogi or akamu, a fermented cereal gruel; kunun zaki, a sweet beverage from cereals alone; mardam, an overcooked cereal porridge; kunun tsir, a beverage made of cowpeas; and kunun gynda, a beverage based on groundnuts and cereal [1-3]. Kunun gyada is one of the most important home-prepared weaning foods. It is very popular in northern Nigeria, just as ogi is in the south of the country. It is eaten as a breakfast beverage by older children and adults, and its consumption increases considerably during the Muslim fasting period of Ramadan. Supplementation with grain legumes has been suggested as one way of improving the protein quality of cereal-based diets.

Information regarding methods of preparation and nutritional composition of ogi is available in the literature [1, 4]. Information is lacking for kunun gyada regarding these features, as well as the ratio of blends of the major ingredients. We attempted to determine the traditional methods of preparating kunun gyada from various cereal grains and their nutritional composition.

Materials and methods

The following items were purchased from Maiduguri market: rice (Oryza saliva), pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum), maize (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), groundnuts (Arachis hypogea), sugar, and tamarind (tsamiya) fruit pulp. It was decided that the best method to obtain the relevant information was to study traditional preparation processes in the field with the help of the local women. Therefore, these raw materials were supplied to four randomly selected local women experienced in preparing kunun gyada. They were instructed to make the beverage in the traditional way.

These women measured out the required quantities of the raw ingredients using the local weight measure before the weights of the ingredients were accurately determined using a weighing balance. The general method followed for preparing kunun gyada weaning food is shown in figure 1. The weaning food formulations are given in table 1. After the women had finished preparing kunun gyada, the samples were immediately taken to our laboratory for analysis. The moisture, protein, fat, fibre, and ash contents of the samples were determined using relevant methods of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists [5].

Results and discussion

The major staple crops used to prepare kunun gyada are rice, millet, maize, sorghum, and groundnuts. The choice of cereal depends on cost and availability in a particular area. The cereals used most often are maize and, when available, millet and sorghum. The beverage made of rice is more popular everywhere because of its aesthetic quality. It is usually served to visitors and adults.

The proportion of groundnuts to cereal by weight was highest for kunun gyada made from rice, followed by kunun gyada made from maize. In the millet and sorghum blends, more cereal than groundnuts was used. It would appear that the people are aware of the low protein content of rice and maize come pared with millet and sorghum. Hence the increased quantity of groundnuts in the beverages made with rice and maize.

FIG. 1. Production of kunun gyada

TABLE 1. Traditional kunun gyada beverage formulations


Kunun gyada from

Rice Millet Maize Sorghum
Rice (g) 153


- -
Millet (g)




Maize (g)


- 123


Sorghum (g)


- - 134
Groundnuts (g) 195 118 128 127
Sugar (g) 53 45 46 42
Tamarind fruit pulp        
extract (ml)b 255 253 255 253
Water (ml) 1,900 1,525 1,522 1,495

a. Mean of three separate preparations
b. Pulp extract (50 g) was added to water (2,000 ml).

TABLE 2. Nutrient composition of kunun gyada beverages from various cereals and groundnut bleeda,b

Proximate components and unit of analysis

Types of kunun gyada beverage

Groundnuts + rice Groundnuts + millet Groundnuts + maize Groundnuts + sorghum
Moisture ( % ) 82.8 0.20 85.0 0.04 85.7 + 0.1 85.5 + 0.02
Crude protein (% ) 2.30 0.02 2.20 0.06 2.50 0.1 2.70 0.07
Crude fat (%) 1.000.01 0.800.01 0.74+0.01 0.760.02
Fibre (%) 0.15 0.01 0.36 0.02 0.35 0.01 0.32 0.03
Ash (%) 0.080.01 0.100.01 0.10+0.01 0.90+0.01
Carbohydrate by        
difference (%) 13.40 0.04 11.70 0.04 10.60 0.05 16.60 0.10
Energy (kcal) 72 62 59 60

a. Results are on as is basis of freshly prepared samples.
b. Three separate determinations were made in each case for each sample.

Some of the weight ratios of the major ingredients are comparable with reported values for optimum mixtures by weight of major ingredients for some weaning foods [6]. However, further ingredient standardization may be required. The ratio of the groundnut-cereal blend to water ranged from 1:5 (w/v) for the groundnut-rice blend to 1:6 (w/v) for the groundnut-maize blend. For infants, these dilutions may seem too watery, which would make it impossible for those with small stomach capacity to consume enough to satisfy protein and energy needs.

The nutrient composition of kunun gyada weaning food from the various cereals is shown in table 2. The difference in protein values may be due to the ratios of groundnuts to cereal. However, the nutrient composition compares favorably with that of commercial chocolate drink, although the protein and fat contents were slightly lower [7]. On a dry weight basis, the protein values ranged from 13% to 18%, similar to reported values for weaning blends [6].

In conclusion, because of the importance of this beverage as a weaning food and the frequency with which it is consumed by infants and young children, further studies on its storage stability, ingredient standardization, and physicochemical, toxicological, and nutritional qualities are in progress to improve the quality of kunun gyada.


This research was supported by a grant from the University of Maiduguri Research Grant Committee to Dr. Iro Nkama and Mrs. Amino Jato.


1. Alnwick D, Moses S. Schmidt OG, eds. Improving young child feeding in eastern and southern Africa: household level food technology. Proceedings of a work- 4. shop held in Nairobi. Kenya, 11-16 October 1987, IDRC-265e. Ottawa: International Development Research Center, 1988.

2. Nkama I. Traditional methods of production of high protein energy foods from grain legumes in the north- 6. eastern states of Nigeria. In: Sefa-Dedeh S. ed. Association of African Universities proceedings of a seminar on development of high protein-energy foods from grain legumes. Legon: University of Ghana, 1991:124-33.

3. Onworah SI, Adesiyun AA, Adekeye JO. In vitro antibiotic sensitivity of Sraphyloccocus aureus strains isolated from a Nigerian fermented cereal drink. J Food Protection 1987;50:95663.

4. Adeyomi IA, Osunami AT, Farorede MAB. Effect of corn variety on ogi quality. J Food Sci 1987;52:322-4.

5. Association of Official Analytical Chemists. Official methods of analysis. 14th ed. Washington, DC: AOAC, 1984.

6. Bressani R. Elias LG. Guidelines for the development of processed and packaged weaning foods. Food Nutr Bull 1983;5(3):57-64.

7. Fernandez de Tonella ML, Berry JW. Characteristics of a chocolate beverage from germinated chickpeas. J Food Sci 1987;52:726-8.

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