• mineral;
  • extractability;
  • millet;
  • beans;
  • pepsin

ABSTRACT: Finger millet (Eleusine coracana) and kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) were processed by soaking, germination, autoclaving, and fermentation for incorporation into a complementary food for children. Extract-ability of calcium, iron, and zinc were determined by in vitro HCl-Pepsin and Pepsin-Pancreatin methods after each processing step. Germination significantly increased the in vitro extractability of these minerals, while soaking, autoclaving and fermentation showed a smaller or insignificant effect. Iron extractability was low in germinated, autoclaved and fermented millet, as determined by the pepsin-pancreatin method, but increased 6.8 times with addition of vitamin C. Phytic acid was reduced by 85 and 66% in finger millet and kidney beans, respectively, during the overall processing. These results show that various processing methods, especially germination, increase mineral extractability. Addition of vitamin C and mango could be used to enhance mineral extractabilities, thereby helping to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies in populations subsisting on these foods.