Tuesday, May 21, 2013

What is FBF?

FBF consists of all vital nutrients, especially micro nutrients. FBF are formulated from mixes of cereals, legumes and plant oils and are completely pre-cooked for convenient reconstitution and utilization. They are also fortified with vitamin and mineral premixes. Therefore, these foods can be fed especially to infants, children, pregnant women, lactating women and elderly peoples. The term FBF means triple nutrients as it provides energy, protein and micronutrients as a pre-cooked, ready-to-eat, fortified cereal legume based food. The basic components of the FBF formula are cereals, pulses and micronutrients.  The targets groups of the FBF are pregnant and lactating women, infants (6-11 months) and preschool children, (under 5 years) who’s having growth faltering. In many developing countries FBF are freely distributed among these selected beneficiaries. Commercially produced FBF are nutritious supplementary foods. These products are pre-cooked foods made locally grown cereals and legumes such as maize, soy beans, rice and green gram. These foods are excellent products for the entire family that contains all nutrients required by an individual to carry out healthy and energetic day. Therefore, they can be consumed either as a breakfast cereal or a snack. The FBF mixer is also used to produce biscuits and quick snacks by some commercial companies.

Main Raw Materials of FBF

Soy bean and maize like cereals are used to FBF production. The full cream milk powder, vitamins and minerals requirements are also used. An example of FBF formula is given below. 

  • Maize - 66%
  • Soy bean - 30% 
  • Full cream milk powder – 3%
  • Vitamin premix - 0.1%
  • Mineral premix - 0.9%

The production process of FBF

Raw soy bean and maize are cleaned and de-stoned and then soy bean is de-hulled. The 70:30 ratios of cleaned maize and soy bean are fed in to an extruder. In the extruder, the mixture is properly cooked and it is discharged via an orifice. After that, the product is cooled and ground. Then vitamin premix, mineral premix and milk solids are added to make FBF. Finally FBF are packaged using plastic bags. Product name, directions for use, manufacturing date and expiry date are clearly printed in the languages of the country. A flow chart for the FBF manufacturing process is shown in figure 1. 

Technology Used in the Production of FBF

Low cost extrusion technology is mainly used to the production of FBF products. This technology not only reduced processing cost, but also produced product with excellent acceptability. Therefore a low cost extruder has been used to the FBF program as well as the production of commercial FBF. Extruder has an auger that rotates at a constant speed in a stationary cylindrical barrel. When the auger rotates, the dry uncooked cereal mixture is forced through the cylindrical barrel. As a result extruder generates heat through friction and thereby cooking the mixture of 160°C. Then the cooked cereal based product is discharged through an orifice. The rapid drop between the high internal pressure and the outside atmosphere will results some of the superheated moisture in the cooked mixture to flash off thereby the product expand to form a cooked flake. The heat generated by the rotating auger will help to expand the product shelf life by destroying the microorganisms present in the mixture, to inactivate protein inhibitors present in cereals and to breakdown starch and protein constituents in order to increase the digestibility of the cereal mixture. The extruder machine is easy to clean and maintain.



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