Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 4, Issue 3&4,2006
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Expanding the uses of phane, a nutritionally rich local food in Southern Africa


Omo Ohiokpehai

Recieved Date: 2006-06-12, Accepted Date: 2006-09-19


Dried mophane worms (phane) are a common but small part of the diet in Botswana. Proximate analysis of phane showed it to be a very good food source, with high protein content (approximately 50%) and a significant amount of fat (approximately 15%). The traditional method of preparing phane, which is degutting, cooking, salting and drying, should produce a product suitable for long-term storage. Therefore, we explored several ways to use phane as a high protein food component, with a view to promote its use year round. The most promising of these was the addition of phane to weaning food. Sorghum was mixed with phane at a ratio of 80:20 to give a protein mixture of about 18%, and with ditloo, bambara nuts and phane at 40:40:20 (sorghum:ditloo:phane) to give a protein content of about 20%. In the case of weaning food, microbiological quality becomes especially important. It was found that phane purchased from street vendors in Botswana was contaminated with coliforms/faecal coliforms at levels that might be acceptable when the phane was to be cooked further, but unacceptable for infant food. Therefore, a post-processing method to reduce these organisms to acceptable levels was tested.


Mophane worms, phane, Acanthocampa belina larvae, sorghum, Sorghum bicolor, marama bean, gemsbok bean, Tylosema esculentum, soybean, Glycine max, cowpea, Vigna unguilata, bambara groundnut, ditloo, Vigna subterranea, enzymes, complementary (weaning) foods

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2006
Volume: 4
Issue: 3&4
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 26-32

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