Combining Video recording and connected Weighing Scale Methods to Describe Mealtime Episodes in Mother-Infant Pair During Complementary Feeding in Rural Area of Southern Benin

Article Information

Ahou Leticia Loukou*, Jean-Brice Gbakayoro, Koutoua Yves Blanchard Anvoh, Ahou Paule Noerine Kouame, Kouakou Brou

Food Science and Technology Training and Research Unit, University of Nangui Abrogoua, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

*Corresponding Author: Ahou Leticia Loukou, Food Science and Technology Training and Research Unit, University of Nangui Abrogoua, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Received: 29 September 2020; Accepted: 13 October 2020; Published: 20 October 2020

Citation: Kouton S, Vodouhè S, Hounkpatin WA, Soumanou MM. Combining Video recording and connected Weighing Scale Methods to Describe Mealtime Episodes in Mother-Infant Pair During Complementary Feeding in Rural Area of Southern Benin. Journal of Food Science and Nutrition Research 3 (2020): 206-216.

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This study aimed to develop a combined of two observational methods, as video recorded and connected weighing scale in order to describe a mealtime episode in mother-infant pair during complementary feeding. Thirty (30) pairs of mother-child aged 11-23 months-old were randomly selected and enrolled in one of the village of Southern-Benin. The mixed of two observational methods showed a high positive correlation in data for describe the meal’s episode of mother-infant pair. The results revealed the existence of different mother-infant pair functioning and highly variability in the eating behaviour. The amount of porridge consumed varied of 150 to 400 g, respectively 150 g for pair 1,250 g for pair 2 and 400 g for pair 3 from connected weighing scale. The spoon content recorded were higher in pair 3. The total duration of food consumption were 10 min, 7 min 5 s and 8 min 2 s respectively for pair 1, 2 and 3. The time of the first refusal to consume from video recording were appeared respectively in first for the pair 1 at 2 min 28 s, in middle for the pair 2 at 3 min 16 s and totally in end for the pair 3 at 7 min 45 s during a meal consumption. Intra pair variability, the eating style of pair 2 was adequate models for optimal growth status in complementary feeding. The conditions of the use of combined observational methods might be improved in order to perform the description of mother-infant pair functioning during in mealtime episodes.



Video recording, Connected weighing scale, Description, Mealtime episode, Eating behaviour, Mother-infant pair, Complementary feeding, Benin

Video recording articles, Connected weighing scale articles, Description articles, Mealtime episode articles, Eating behaviour articles, Mother-infant pair articles, Complementary feeding articles, Benin articles

Article Details

1. Introduction

Crops that were less affected by extreme weather like cereals (such as wheat, barley, millet, and sorghum) and tubers (such as yams) slowly became popular throughout Africa and have remained important staples in the African diet today [1]. These foods contain high carbohydrate level. That is the case of Ivorians whom diets are carbohydrate based and most families plan their meals around it. Foods high in carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. Carbohydrates are the main energy source in most human diets, making up about 40-80% of our calorie intake play an enormous role in human physiology [2]. Despite the energy value of carbohydrates, their physiological effects on human health differ from each other [2]. Carbohydrate quality is important; some types of carbohydrate-rich foods are better than others. Indeed, the energy contents and digestibility of different carbohydrates differ. According to [3], the healthiest sources of carbohydrates are unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans. They promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important phytonutrients. Unhealthier sources of carbohydrates include white bread, pastries, sodas, and other highly processed or refined foods. These items contain easily digested carbohydrates that may contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease. These carbohydrate foods elicit a quicker response from insulin than others [4]. An excessive consumption of these foods will cause hyperglycemia, which in the long term will lead to diabetes [5] and other metabolic diseases.

Some studies have reported on the relationship between blood sugar levels and some carbohydrate foods consumed in Ghana [6] and Côte d’Ivoire [7]. For [6], five major Ghanaian staples such fufu (plantain and cassava), banku (corn and cassava), Tuo Zaafi (corn) and kenkey (corn) should be considered in recommendations for diabetics because their showed low to moderately high glycemic index. For [7], Attieke (agbodjama) had a high glycemic index (29) while placali (17) and maize meal stiff porridge (16) had medium glycemic index. The glycemic load of pounded cassava-plantain and pounded yam are 26 and 22 [8] have showed that pounded yam with eggplant sauce, cassava paste with granulates palm nut sauce and rice with groundnut sauce must be consumed moderately in a diet. Indeed, glycemic index value (GI) of pounded yam with eggplant sauce and cassava paste with granulates palm nut sauce were high ranging to 94 to 86 respectively, while those of rice with groundnut sauce were low (GI = 45). Nevertheless, the glycemic loads of the all these foods are high with the values of 47, 43 and 23 (g) for pounded yam with eggplant sauce, cassava paste with granulates palm nut sauce and rice with groundnut sauce respectively.

In Côte d’Ivoire, some carbohydrate foods are more consumed than others. If their glycemic index and glycemic loads are high, they could be increased the cases of diabetes in the country. The aim of this work is to reveal the carbohydrate foods most consumed in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and evaluate their nutritional value.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1 Data collection of consumption survey

A consumption survey was conducted from 26 August to 26 September 2019 in five municipalities (Cocody, Port-Bouet, Marcory, Abobo and Yopougon) in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). These five municipalities were chosen taking into account their cosmopolitan character, their high population density and their social and food diversity. Sample consisted of men and women randomly selected. In each town, the interviews were conducted individually in French with 50 participants (young, adults and senior). The questions were about the food habits and the frequency of consuming these foods.

2.2 Sample for analysis physicochemical characterization

National foods (white rice cooked and attieke) and non-national foods (gari and akassa) were purchased in the big market of Abobo, Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). This market is one of the most populated areas where we find all kind of traffic, traders from several African countries. Attieke is a fermented cassava couscous. Gari is cassava root, dried and ground into a flour. Akassa is maize-based fermented dough. The samples (attieke, gari and akassa) were purchased from randomly selected four sellers. They were packaged in closed containers for analysis. The rice was cooked at home (1 kg of rice for 1.5 l of water).

2.3 Biochemical characterization and energy value

Moisture, ash, proteins, lipids and total fiber, were determined by AOAC method [9]. The amount of carbohydrates was determined by difference as follows:

Total carbohydrates (%) = 100 – (% moisture +% proteins +% lipids +% ash)                                     (1)

The energy value was determined by [10] formula using [11] coefficients.

Energy value (kcal)= (4 x% proteins) + (4 x% total carbohydrate) + (9 x% lipids)                                               (2)

2.4 Portion of food consumed

The portion of food consumed on the base of 50 g of available carbohydrate were determined according to the following formula:

Weight portion (g)= (50 × 100)/(Total carbohydrate-Fiber).

2.5 Data analysis

Consumption survey data were collected and analyzed with IBM SPSS software version 22 for windows where data were subjected to descriptive statistics for calculation of frequencies. Results of biochemical characterization are presented as the average ± standard deviation, and the differences among foods were assessed by one-way analysis of variance followed by Duncan’s New Multiple Range Test using Statistica 7.1 (StatSoft).

3. Results

3.1 Characteristics of the respondents

The study population consisted of 39.4 to 68.6% of men and 31.4 to 60.6% of women from diverse ethnic origins and aged up to 12 years old; 0 to 3.4% of them had diagnosed diabetes, 0 to 7.4% obese and 0 to 10.2% having high arterial pressure (Table 1).

3.2 Food habits of the respondents

Figure 1 presented the national carbohydrate dishes preferentially consumed by respondents. The rice and attieke are national foods the most consumed with respectively 47.67% and 31.54%. Next come the pounded cassava-plantain (11.83%), foufou (4.30%), toh jaune (2.15%), placali (1.79%) and pounded yam (0.72%). Among non-national foods (Figure 2), gari is the most consumed with a proportion of 25.45% followed by akassa (21.54%), dokounou (17.56%) and abolo (14.70%).

3.3 Frequency of food consumed by selected subjects

Table 2 presents the consumption frequency of rice, attieke, gari and akassa. All respondents ate rice and 0.36% had never or rarely eaten attieke. At least 5 time a week, 84.23% and 54.84% of respondents had respectively eaten the rice and attieke. Concerning gari and akassa respectively 66.67 and 34.41% of respondents consumed them rarely or never. Gari is more consumed than akassa.

3.4 Proximate composition of selected foods

The proximate composition of analyzed foods is shown in Table 3. Some significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed in the proximate composition of foods. The moisture content of the foods varied between 728 ± 0.5% and 86.55 ± 0.45%. Akassa had the high moisture content. However, the lowest water content was observed in the gari. Gari contained high ash level (1.03 ± 0.15%) following by akassa (1.02 ± 0.02%), attieke (0.51 ± 0.04%) and rice (0.41 ± 0.08%). For lipid contents, a significant difference was observed between attieke (2.60 ± 0.77%), akassa (2.52 ± 0.2%), rice (1.65 ± 0.11%), and gari (0.50 ± 0.43%). The protein contents of food were significantly different with a high value in akassa (9.16 ± 0.30%) followed by rice (7.64 ± 0.08%), attieke (2.10 ± 0.01%) and gari (0.88 ± 0.06%). The carbohydrate contents are statistically different in all the foods studied with 97.45 ± 0.41% for gari, 94.79 ± 0.77% for attieke, 90.30 ± 0.45% for rice and 87.30 ± 0.6% for akassa. The highest fiber content was observed in gari (9.17 ± 0.80%) followed by attieke (2.05 ± 0.4%) and rice (0.59 ± 0.01%). Akassa does not contain fibers (0%).

3.5 Weight of ingested foods and proximate composition of foods per 50 g available carbohydrate hydrate

The weight and proximate composition of ingested foods per 50 g available carbohydrate hydrate is shown in Table 4. For 50 g available carbohydrate, the amount of akassa to ingest was the highest (425.83 g) following by rice (180.31 g), attieke (131.05 g) and gari (61.08 g). The portion of akassa mostly contained water (368.56 g) as rice (124.58 g) and attieke (77.14 g). The rice and the akassa contained high protein level respectively 5.24 g and 4.26 g but very little fiber 0.32 for rice. All four test foods had low lipid content 0.28 to 1.45 g. The energy value of akassa was the highest (234.01 kcal), following by that of rice (226.6 kcal), gari (225.28 kcal) and attieke (221.52 kcal).


Sub variables

Proportion of the respondents (%)



















Ethnic Groups



















Northern Mande






Southern Mande



















> 31






Personal history illness



























High blood pressure













Table 1: General characteristics of the respondents.


Figure 1: National carbohydrate dishes.


Figure 2: Non-national carbohydrate dishes.






5-7 time a week





3 to 4 time a week





Once or twice a week





Once or twice a month





Rarely or never





Table 2: Frequency of food consumed by selected subjects (%).


Tested foods





Moisture (% of fresh matter)

69.09 ± 0.68b

58.86 ± 0.81c

7.28 ± 0.5d

86.55 ± 0.45a


0.41 ± 0.08d

0.51 ± 0.04c

1.16 ± 0.15a

1.02 ± 0.02b


1.65 ± 0.11c

2.60 ± 0.77a

0.50 ± 0.43d

2.52 ± 0.2b


7.64 ± 0.08b

2.10 ± 0.01c

0.88 ± 0.06d

9.16 ± 0.30a

Total carbohydrate

90.30 ± 0.6c

94.79 ± 0.77b

97.45 ± 0.41a

87.30 ± 045d


0.59 ± 0.01c

2.05 ± 0.40b

9.17 ± 0.80a


Values are means ± standard deviation of triplicates (n=3). Values in the same line with the different superscript are significantly different (P <0.05).

Table 3: Proximate composition of the test foods (% of dry matter).

Parameters (g)

Tested foods






Weight of ingested food

180.31 ± 0.68b

131.05 ± 0.81c

61.08 ± 0.5d

425.83 ± 0.45a


124.58 ± 0.68b

77.14 ± 0.81c

4.45 ± 0.5d

368.56 ± 0.45a


0.23 ± 0.08d

0.28 ± 0.04c

0.66 ± 0.15a

0.60 ± 0.02b


0.92 ± 0.11c

1.40 ± 0.77b

0.28 ± 0.43d

1.45 ± 0.2a


4.26 ± 0.08b

1.13 ± 0.01c

0.50 ± 0.06d

5.24 ± 0.30a


0.32 ± 0.01c

1.10 ± 0.40b

5.19 ± 0.80a


Energy value (Kcal)

226.6 ± 0.22b

221.52 ± 0.33d

225.28 ± 0.76c

234.01 ± 0.4a

Values are means ± standard deviation of triplicates (n=3). Values in the same line with the different superscript are significantly different (P <0.05).

Table 4: Weight of ingested food and proximate composition of foods per 50 g available carbohydrate.

4. Discussion

The consumer survey focused on a population with more men than women. The majority of people were young people between the ages of 19 and 30. These people were mostly “Akan”. According to [12], the “Akan” are the most numerous in the Ivorian population. Rice and attieke are the national carbohydrate foods that these people consume the most. These results could be explained by the fact that rice and attieke are staple foods of the Ivorians. These foods are generally eaten for lunch and dinner in most households. Gari and akassa are the most consumed non-national carbohydrate foods. However, it is rarely consumed. But often once or twice a month. Akassa is also consumed among others in Benin, Togo, Nigeria, a little in Mali. It is of Beninese origin where it is consumed four times a week. It is a dish very appreciated by Africans [13].

The water contained in akassa is greater than that of cooked rice which is itself greater than that of attieke and gari. These results could be explained by the culinary techniques applied to these foods. Indeed, these techniques can either increase or decrease the water contained in foods. Preparation of akassa and rice requires the incorporation of water. That increase the water level in these foods. Both the attieke and the gari, which are made from cassava, certainly contain water, but high proportion of the water was removed from the attieke during pressing. As for gari, the step of pressing and roasting over high heat is believed to be the cause of this low water content. The amount of water contained in akassa (86.55%) is similar to that found by [14]. According to his studies, akassa is made up of 86.90% water.

Rice, attieke, gari and akassa are rich in carbohydrate (87.30 to 97.45%) and poor in lipids, proteins, fibers and ashes. These foods are made from tubers (attieke and gari) and cereals (rice and akassa). Indeed, attieke and gari are prepared from the cassava tuber which is rich in starched and poor in lipids, proteins and ash [15]. Thus, the derived dishes will have a very high carbohydrate content. Akassa is a preparation made from corn. According to [16], corn is a food low in lipids, ash and protein but high in carbohydrates. The preparation of akassa goes through various processes such as cleaning, soaking and sieving operations, which further reduce the content of these nutrients [14]. Some nutrients are solubilized by the water used in the process [14]. Losses of soluble protein increase with prolonged soaking. Indeed, [17] reported that prolonged soaking can result in loss.

The low nutrient content of rice could be explained by the mechanical treatments allowing to obtain the white rice and which lead to losses of lipids, proteins, dietary fibers, vitamins of the group B and vitamin E as well as the loss of main minerals such as magnesium, potassium or manganese particularly abundant in the germ, pericarp and aleurone layer [18]. Consumed alone, these dishes could cause nutritional imbalance and an increase of the glycemia because of their low fiber content (0 to 9.17%). For these reasons, [19] undertook work to fortify attieke with yeasts capable of increasing protein contents by up to 10.5% without significantly affecting organoleptic qualities.

For 50 g available carbohydrate, the amount of akassa to ingest was the highest (425.83 g) following by that of rice (180.31 g), attieke (131.05 g) and gari (61.08 g). These portions mostly contained water, low protein, lipid and fiber levels. The glycemic responses of these foods could be very high. Indeed, according to [20], there is a close relationship between foods in which more than 80% of the energy intake comes from their carbohydrates and the considerable rise in postprandial blood sugar. Also, rice, attieke, gari and akassa contain starch, more precisely amylopectin, which are easy to digest [21]. Indeed, attieke contains 83% amylopectins, gari 75%, rice 75% and akassa 78.5 to 80% [22]. Thus, regular consumption and high amount of these foods may cause short-term, significant peaks and hyper-glycemic long-term deterioration of glucose homeostasis.

Due to the lack of fiber and its gelatinous texture, akassa may have the highest glycemic index and glycemic load. Indeed, according to [23], with high starch gelatinization, starch is more digestible, digestion is more rapid and high glycemic index. That was confirmed by the work of [24] who had effectively shown glycemic index value of 92.30 and glycemic load of 46.15 for akassa. The glycemic index and glycemic load of rice are also high according to [25] with respectively 69 and 30. [7] had found for attieke, a glycemic index of 63 and 29 for glycemic load. With gari sample containing 12.61% of water and 63.57% of available carbohydrate, glycemic index was 62.33 [26]. This decrease of the glycemic index in attieke and gari may be derived from their dietary fiber content. According to [27], the fiber could be responsible for decreasing post prandial glucose by increasing viscosity of the digestible and reduce gastric emptying time. [28] and [29] have shown that the eating habits with high glycemic load can lead to a high glycemic response and insulin resistance. In the absence of adequate insulin delivery, these foods would certainly overwhelm the sugar metabolic system. They are thus not considered suitable or adequate meals for type II diabetics.

5. Conclusion

This study had showed that among the available carbohydrate foods in Abidjan rice and attieke were the most consumed national foods and gari and akassa the most consumed non-national foods. All respondents ate rice regularly and 99.64% the attieke while most of them consumed rarely gari and akassa. Rice, attieke, gari and akassa contained high available carbohydrates and water contents, low lipids, protein, ash and, fiber. On the base of 50 g available carbohydrate portion, akassa had given the most energy and had no fiber followed by rice, gari and attieke with respectively. 0.32, 5.19 and 1.10% of fiber. Rice, attieke, gari and akassa are high-glycemic foods and need to be limited or avoided on a low-carb diet.

Conflicts of Interest

No conflicts of interest have been registered on this work to the best of our knowledge.


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