The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 191–207 | Cite as

The problem of protein weaning foods in India

  • N. L. Sharma


A large volume of animal experimental work, as well as clinical trials of feeding infants on vegetable protein food supplements indicate that children could be reared successfully for long periods on foods containing no human or cow's milk.Block andAutret showed evidence which suggests that freedom from kwashiorkor, which is enjoyed by many largely vegetarian communities, may depend on nothing more profound than a suitable mixing of plant materials in the diet. If this is correct, it indicates a relatively easy method of finding suitable protein weaning foods for infants. The future of milk substitutes would seem to depend upon the use of cheap, locally available, easily grown plants, rich in protein content. At the present moment, the practical choice falls, at any rate in our country, on groundnut press-cake flour, Bengal gram and wheat.

It is obvious from the foregoing discussion that much thought has to be given to the selection, proper combination and processing of the new foods. It will be necessary to test their amino-acid make up; to find out by field experiments their acceptability, digestibility and finally efficacy both by means of animal experimentation and clinical trials on infants. When this stage is reached, steps have to be taken to preserve them for a certain length of time so that they may be available in the form of commercial products at reasonable prices within the reach of our people. The task is indeed stupendous, yet so vitally important, that it deserves foremost consideration by all concerned.


Animal Protein Vegetable Protein Kwashiorkor Protein Malnutrition Parasitic Infestation 


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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 1955

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. L. Sharma
    • 1
  1. 1.All-India Institute of Hygiene and Publi HealthCalcutta

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