A Pakistani diet is based on mixed/composite foods. All traditional Pakistani foods involve combining two or more food items from different food groups in varying proportions. e.g., Aloo Ghost which is a savory item, includes onions and tomatoes belonging to the vegetable group, oil (fat group); meat (ghost) belonging to the meat and its substitutes group and potatoes (aloo) which is placed in the cereals and starchy vegetables group.
Previously, composite food was referred to as a mixture of one or more products of animal origin and other edible material intended for human consumption and may and may not be cooked or processed e.g., cookie dough, cake mixes etc. The Euro FIR refers to mixed food as ethnic or modified ethnic food associated with the traditional dietary practices of immigrants in the light of their cultural background and religious beliefs that are different from the host country. (Hamid and Sarwar, 2004). Today, composite food describes the design of those mixed foods that involve processing and cooking of two or more food items selected from different food groups in varying proportions, processed and cooked under different temperatures and durations to give the finished product a particular character.
Misinterpreting composite mixed foods as a single food item is one of the common mistake Dietitians and Nutritionist make in Pakistan and perhaps all over the world.
The term food, usually refers to a single food item belonging to a particular food group and may misrepresent a mixed/composite food, while diet usually indicates the pattern of food consumption and meal is the combination of various food courses served at a particular time. The term dish either refers to a specific type of food (not specific for composite/mixed food) or is used to describe the serving utensil or bowl rather than the food itself.
The purpose of the present study was to standardize mixed/composite Pakistani foods for consumer acceptance by sensory evaluation so as to bring precision in the nutrient estimation of Pakistani recipes as they are not available in the food composition tables as earlier reported by Vyas et al. (2003) which in turn is required in many epidemiological studies where the nutrient intake has to be assessed.
Due to limitations of time and resources the study was limited to a single days menu and only 2 composite foods namely dal maash (Phaseolus Radiata) and Tori Bujia (Luffa Segyptice) were standardized.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The experimental study of formula standardization of two composite/mixed foods was carried out at the food laboratory of the College of Home Economics Lahore, Pakistan. A lunch menu selected from The National Food Based Dietary Guidelines, 2006, was slightly modified in accordance with the seasonal availability of vegetables.
Test procedure: Initially the recipes were selected from a recipe pool of internet and cookbooks and subjected to preference test. Vaclavik and Christian (2005). Five Preference Evaluators (PE) were randomly selected from postgraduate students of food and nutrition. Preference was measured by comparing three different recipes with each other i.e., which one of the recipe was preferred. The three recipes were prepared and coded A, B, C. The PE was asked to circle the preferred recipe. The recipe which rated the Highest Preference Score (HPS) was selected as the basic recipe and was subjected to the process of regularity for acceptability.
Selection of Food Acceptability Assessors (FAA): The assessors were recruited after determining their health conditions, availability and willingness to take part in the study as a sensorial panel. The FAA were instructed to evaluate the prepared dish (Test 1) and assess them in global terms (taste, texture and color). Changes in the recipe were made in accordance with the suggestions of the FAA and the modified dish was presented as Test 2. The same procedure of sensory evaluation and modification was followed as Test 3 for the most acceptable recipe.
Consumer acceptability: Sensory evaluation for taste, color and texture was conducted based on the following hedonic scale: 9 = excellent, most acceptable; 7-8 = very good, acceptable; 5-6 = fair, limited acceptability; 1-4 = non acceptable. The scale was adapted from Gorny et al., 2000.
Statistical analysis: The results obtained with the hedonic scale for sensory evaluation, were treated for multiple comparison by analysis of variance (one-way ANOVA) with Least Significant Difference (LSD) between means determined at 5% level (Gorny et al., 2000).
Nutritional evaluation: The nutritional composition of the serving and portion size was evaluated by the use of Nutritional Composition Tables for Pakistan, 2001.
Test 1 depicts the original recipe for dal maash with a mean range 7.0-7.6
for all three attributes while Tori Bhujia shows a mean range of 6.2-7.4. The
recipes were modified in accordance with the suggestions of the FAA in Test.
2. [oil was reduced for both the recipes i.e. from ¼ cup-3 tbsp. for
Dal Maash and ½ - ¼ cup for Tori Bhujia; tumeric was cut down
to ¼ tsp. from ½ tsp. for Dal Maash; while the weight of the onions
was reduced from 160 grams (2 medium) to 120 g (120 g) for Tori Bhujia].
||Sensory evaluation of experiments for recipe standardization
|LSD = 0.30; Mean values in the same row with the same letter
show non significant difference; Different letter show significant difference
are non significantly different
The suggestions of the FAA for Test 2 were incorporated in the recipe prepared
as Test 3. [oil was reduced to 1 tbsp. and tumeric was reduced to 1/8 tsp. for
dal maash; and for tori bhujia oil was further reduced to 1 tbsp]. The application
of Least Significant Difference (LSD) for Dal Maash revealed that the recipe
prepared as Test 3 was most acceptable as compared to Test 1 and Test 2 for
all three attributes of taste, texture and color. Similar results were obtained
for Tori Bhujia. (Table 1 depicts letter b for all attributes
of Test 1 and letter a for all attributes of Test 3).
The above table clearly indicates the difference in the nutritive composition of edible portion/100 g of Dal Maash (Phaseolus Radiatus) and Tori Bhujia (Luffa Segyptice) as depicted in the Food Composition Tables of Pakistan 2001 and the standardized recipe of cooked Dal Maash and Tori Bhujia.
This is a base-line study which was carried out in an attempt to address the question of formula standardization of complex food dishes of Pakistani diet for optimal accuracy in nutrient estimation. Standardization of recipes is important as the nutritional composition of many composite foods which make up a Pakistani diet are not available in the food composition tables (Vyas et al., 2003). This study helps to address the importance of recipe standardization for composite foods in order to achieve optimal accuracy in determining the nutrient estimation by using food composition tables. Such nutrient estimation is imperative in many epidemiological studies where, the nutrient intake has to be assessed.
Table 2 clearly illustrates that the Nutritional composition
of cooked Dal Maash (phaseolus radiatus) as depicted in the Food Composition
Tables of Pakistan 2001, was 18.8k calories less than the composite Dal Maash.
The difference could be due to the element that the cooked Dal Maash in the
Food Composition Tables of Pakistan 2001 probably referred to the boiled Dal
and not the composite Dal Maash. This assumption is supported by the fact that
the composite Dal Maash contains 3.6 g fat/100 g dal as compared to 1.0 gram
fat in Dal Maash as individual food.
||Nutrient variation in individual food and composite food.
|Food Composition Tables of Pakistan (2001)
Similar results were seen when the composite Tori Bhujia (Luffa Segyptice)
was assessed for its nutritional value. One hundred grams of composite Tori
Bhujia provided 131 kcal, 15.2 g CHO; 3.2 g protein and 6.4 g of fat. The Food
Composition Tables of Pakistan 2001, enlists only the nutritional composition
of edible (raw) portion, where, 100 g of raw vegetable yields 18 kcal, 4 g CHO;
1 g protein and 0.2 g fat. Compared with the composite Tori Bhujia cooked in
the traditional way yields 15.2 g carbohydrate, 3.2 g protein, 6.4 g fat with
131k calories. The difference in the nutritional composition can be attributed
to the addition of onions (48 g), tomatoes (60 g) and cooking oil (1 teaspoon)
which has attributes to the higher nutritive value of the composite Tori Bhujia.
Conclusion: The study has shown that sensory evaluation is a useful tool to achieve consumer acceptability for recipe standardization of composite foods.
This study further highlighted the fact that there is a difference between the nutritional composition of the edible portion of foods enlisted in The Food Composition Table of Pakistan (2001) and mixed composite foods of Pakistan standardized on scientific basis and translated with consumer acceptance.
These standardized recipes of traditional Pakistani composite foods are most helpful were there is a need to draw out recommended servings for dietary recommendations.
However, this baseline study laid the foundation for further research for developing standardized recipes of highly complex composite food of Pakistani Asian diet like haleem, Palao, biryanis etc.
Recommendations: Standardized recipes of different composite foods should be developed along with the nutritional composition and serving size so as to facilitate its incorporation in the Dietary Guidelines.
Consumer Acceptability Panel should belong to different socio-economic groups with different cultural backgrounds so that the data is representative nationally. The consumption data should be validated by chemical analysis.