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smooth porridge for infants

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 3 replies. You can also reply via email – be sure to leave the subject unchanged.

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julius karanja

factory manager, wanjis food industries

Normal user

29 Dec 2010, 11:31

Hi all,

what causes lumping and balling in extruded porridge flour, (CSB) during reconstitution?

what are the processing parameters that can significantly reduce lumping when instant porridge flour is reconstituted.

these lumps are not good for infants and may cause choking.

Anonymous 226

Normal user

3 Jan 2011, 07:07

Dear James,

The literature below may be of assistance.

Process for preparing an instant baby cereal porridge product United States Patent 4438150

US Patent References:
Process for preparing instant cereals and the resulting product
Kelly et al. - June, 1975 - 3887714

Ronai et al. - November, 1972 - 3704134

Process for precooking a substantially-water-insoluble farinaceous product
Gould et al. - May, 1964 - 3133818

Instant oatmeal
Huffman et al. - September, 1961 - 2999018

Process of making a water-soluble infant cereal food and the resulting product
Kimball et al. - December, 1955 - 2727822

julius karanja

factory manager, wanjis food industries

Normal user

3 Jan 2011, 09:38

Hi 226.
Thanks for the references, I will check them our.


Ali Maclaine

Normal user

4 Jan 2011, 13:21

Hi, Just to add something on this discussion about 'lumps (being) not good for infants and may cause choking'. I don't know if you know about 'baby-led weaning' but this is an increasingly strong movement in the UK (and probably else where). It is now a book by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett but originally came from the masters degree of Gill Rapley who was looking at babies' developmental readiness for solids.
This book points out a number of issues:
- Starting other foods than breastmilk is not good for babies under 6 months (hence exclusive breastfeeding for full 6 months)
- As well as other foods not being so nutrient dense as breastmilk, displacing breastmilk, increased risk of infections, allergies and digestive problems etc, there are issues related to choking, as this is what you mention I will concentrate of them:
- A baby goes through feeding developmental milestones, so first they latch on to breast, then reach towards things that interest them, then grab objects and put in their mouth, explore things with lips and tongue, bite of pieces of food, etc. By the time the baby is 6 months most babies can look at, reach and grab food and put it into their mouth. Although it may look like he is feeding himself infact he is just exploring it with lips and mouth. Between 6 and 9 months several abilities develop, he can bite or gnaw (with teeth or gums) off small pieces of food. Soon after he discovers how to keep this in his mouth for a while and because he is older and the size and shape of his mouth has changed and he has more control of his tongue and can move the food around and chew it. As long as the infant is sitting up right it is likely that the food will drop out of his mouth as it takes practise for the baby to actively move the food to the back of the mouth so that they can swallow it. He will only swallow it when the muscles in his tongue, cheek and jaw are sufficiently coordinated to work together - this may be natures way to shop a baby choking. Babies after 6m that are given access and the opportunity to feed themselves will start eating foods when they are ready.
- There is a difference between 'gagging' and 'choking'. Gagging is a retching movement that moves food away from the airway if it is too big for them to be swallowed. It doesn't seem to bother babies that much. In adults you have to put your finger right at the back of the throat to gag but this relex is triggered much farther forward on the tongue of a 6 month old. This means that an infant gags when the piece of food if much further away from the infant's airway - this protects the infant's airway and the infant learns how to keep food away from their airway. Choking happens when the airway is blocked (partially or completely). The coughing and spluttering of a baby is usually a sign that it is dealing with the problem, by contrast a truly choking infants is usually silent as the air can't get through.
Two factors make choking more likely: (1) Someone else putting the food (or drink) into the baby's mouth (2) leaning back positioning.
- Spoon feeding is not necessary
'Many instances of babies, gagging or 'choking' are actually related to spoon-feeding, expecially when lumpy foods are given by spoon. To understand why this is, think about how you use a spoon to eat tomato soup and compare it with the way you eat your breakfast cereal. If you were to 'slurp' your cereal the way you do your soup, the lumps would go straight to the back of your thrat and you would start to cough and splutter. When babies are spoon-fed they tend to suck the food in, so they gag or 'choke' very easily.'

Please look it up if you are interested in this as there is a lot more to say on the subject and this has gone on too long already. For me I think that the way that the feeding developmental milestones from 6m of age are really interesting and can be used to emphasise the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months (the baby isn't developmentally ready to have other foods). Then the move away from purees and mashes given by spoon is also interesting. As Gill and Tracey say in the book baby-led weaning isn't new it's just be rediscovered and talked about.
Best wishes, Ali

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