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Creatures such as mice, rats, insects and microorganisms (bacteria, virus, yeast and moulds) cause food spoilage. Enzymes, also, cause food spoilage.
The metabolism of bacteria mostly take place in foods that have organic nitrogen. Examples of these foods include protein foods (Milk, meat, eggs, beans and peas are some of the examples).
Moisture has to be present for the biological mechanism to take place. In cases of frozen, dry, sugary or salty food, metabolism will not take place. Sugar and salt have higher concentration than the bacterial cytoplasm. This may lead to osmosis on the bacterial cytoplasm leading to the bacteria becoming dehydrated.
*freezing, adding salt and sugar and drying are forms of preserving food. The freezing and drying methods are, however, reversible once moisture is available for the bacteria. The reason behind this is the spores of some bacteria remain dormant under conditions of dehydration.
Bacteria do survive under a wide range of temperature. They are divided into three groups depending on their optimum temperature:
• Psychrophilic bacteria: they cause damage to refrigerated food because they survive and grow at a temperature of below 20° C.
• Mesophilic bacteria: they grow at a temperature of 37° C. Affects food such as milk and meat.
• Thermophilic bacteria: they grow in temperature up to 60°C. They cause little spoilage to food.
A temperature below the range of a group will slow down the rate of metabolism of a bacteria but will not destroy it.
A temperature above the range of a group will kill/destroy the bacteria. An example, the vegetative bacteria are killed are killed by temperature above 100° C.
Some bacteria are either:
• Aerobic in that they need oxygen to metabolise.
• Anaerobic in that they do not need oxygen to metabolize.
Enzymes control the metabolic activities of bacteria and they function at a certain pH and food poisoning need a pH of 7.
This includes the presence of poisonous chemicals or bacteria.
Poisonous chemicals include additives in food, weed killers, pesticides and heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
These foods contain natural toxins and can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts:
They contain anaemia producing ingredient which if taken in large amounts sometimes cause ill effects.
Potatoes which have turned green contain solanine which is dangerous if taken in large amounts.
It has oxalic acid throughout the plant. If stems are eaten they have no effect but its leaves are dangerous because they have higher concentrations of the acid.
It contains concentrations of cyanides and it can be poisonous when eaten raw. It can still be poisonous when processed if it contains II ppm.
5. Cabbage and cauliflower
They contain goitre producing compounds.
Moulds (mycotoxins) and fungi contaminate some foods.
A fungal disease in in rye, Ergot, produce a powerful toxic chemical in grains. Ergotism develops when the toxic is taken frequently.
A group of toxins produced by mould, Aflatoxins, cause illness in animals fed on imported food stuffs.
• Not all bacteria are bad. Bacteria in yoghurt and cheese are useful to the body.
• Bacterial infections can be prevented by good food hygiene.
• It causes food poisoning when ingested in large numbers by a healthy adult and in much lesser number when ingested by infants, children and the sick.
• Symptoms which include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headaches, faintness and chills appear 12 to 36 hours of eating and may last for 2 to 3 days.
• Main sources are human and animal faeces, duck eggs, poultry and fish.
• Cows and pigs, mainly, carry salmonellae in their intestines and there is cross contamination during slaughter and in the kitchen.
• Cold cooked meats, low temperature cooked food and mayonnaise spread salmonellae when eaten. Also in this list is water and milk contaminated by sewage and frozen chicken.
• Salmonellae causes typhoid and it can be destroyed by heating food.
• Staphylococcus aureus is the most common
• Symptoms which include salivation, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramp, diarrhoea, prostration and sweating take half an hour to 3 hours to be manifested
after been eaten.
• Sources are the human throat, nose, mouth and nasal passage, human skin that has open wounds and abrasions, boils, clothing and dust.
• Contamination is caused through cold meat, meat sources, gravies, fish and fish products and dairy products.
• Staphylococcus is heat destroyed. The toxins produced are heat resistant and require more heat to destroy. Also, food should be handled properly and wounds be covered.
I am going to be discussing infant and young child feeding and my focus will be on children aged 0 to 12 months.
Child nutrition is important for a proper growth. Undernutrition leads to stunted growth, mortality and eventually morbidity.
There are two phases of breastfeeding involved:
An infant should breastfeed within the first 30 minutes to 1 hour of birth to prevent infections and child morbidity. Exclusive breastfeeding should be carried out for the first six months without introducing complementary food. This will minimize cases of food allergy. It will also minimize cases such as asthma and eczema.
HIV infected mothers are also recommended to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months as long as they are on antiretroviral medication. The medication reduces the risk of transmission from mother to child. Mixed feeding before six months can lead to diarrhoea or the child being infected with HIV.
Exclusive breastfeeding benefits both mother and child in such ways:
COMPLEMENTARY FEEDING / WEANING
Complementary food is introduced as a mother continues breastfeeding. It is started at the six months of a child’s age.
At six months, the energy and nutrient needs have already increased hence the need to introduce complementary foods that carter for the extra needed energy and nutrients.
A couple of factors must be considered at this stage:
At this stage, poor feeding can lead to malnutrition so the mother should make sure the child gets the required nutrients and the right quantity of food daily.
A mother can also introduce fruits such as oranges and observe the child’s reaction to them.
Kenya Ministry of Health recommends the babies to be fed 2 times at this stage. Feed 2 to 3 spoons at each meal.
Feed 3 times a day and introduce a snack. Give ¾ of a 250 ml cup in each meal.
WHAT NOT TO GIVE
It causes allergic reactions to the child.
The baby needs only a pinch of salt since the baby’s kidney is not mature enough to deal with large amounts of sodium.
They cause choking since the child’s gut is not well developed to handle such rough foods.
Milk from animals and soy milk contain proteins the child cannot digest. Minerals in these milk can damage the kidney.
It causes infant botulism. This is because of immature growth of the baby’s intestines.
Fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals.
A pregnant woman needs high amounts of vitamins and minerals because of the extra nutrients need.
Not all fruits, however, are recommended for pregnant women.
These fruits are:
The green pawpaw is semi ripe and it contains latex.
This latex causes uterine contraction hence there is miscarriage or early labour for those who are not due to give birth.
Ripe pawpaw has less latex compared to unripe pawpaw, hence, it has no effect on pregnancy. It is actually a good source of vitamin A and C.
Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapples causes spasm of the uterus and softening of the cervix when taken in large amounts. The affected group is the first and second trimester pregnant women.
It leads to early labour and miscarriage .
Taking pineapple is not totally discouraged. Take about 2 to 3 servings of pineapple in a week.
Point to note:
Malnutrition is known as both under nutrition and over nutrition. We are going to discuss under nutrition today.
Malnutrition is a leading primary health care problem which leads to the persistence of health problems such as malaria, HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis.
Groups more vulnerable to malnutrition
Most of the groups affected by malnutrition are infants and children under the age of 59 months because of their rapid growth and development, pregnant and lactating women, malnourished pregnant women give birth to low birth weight babies risking the baby to malnutrition which may lead to stunted growth, mortality and morbidity and also mental disabilities. also affected are the elderly especially when they receive little or no care at all, those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, the immuno-suppressed patients and the adolescents, especially women because they depend on nutrition to sustain the changes that occur in their bodies.
Causes of malnutrition
Prevention of malnutrition
Parts in Kenya mostly affected by malnutrition
Malnutrition leads to the persistence of infections such as malaria, HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis. It also increases the risk of HIV/AIDs transmission from mother to child.
In children, it leads to mental disability and there are cases of low blood sugar sugar due to malnutrition which can be detected by convulsion.
Protein – energy malnutrition
Most commonly known type of under nutrition is the protein energy malnutrition. This includes kwashiorkor and marasmus.
Kwashiorkor is caused by protein deficiency and the signs are edema, dry and peeling skin, de-pigmented skin and hair and belly swelling.
Marasmus is caused by protein and energy deficiency. Signs and symptoms include stunted growth and wasting of the muscles and tissues.
We all have friends, real and fake ones.
Today we discuss fake ones.
They say a friend in need is a friend indeed and so I get to meet a lady who is in need. She is not a friend yet but because I am in a position to help, we become friends. We get to stay friends for a few weeks then she goes mum, becomes closer to “friends” who did not offer help. Time goes by and after months the “friend” is in need again. Being a child of God I lend a helping hand. This time the “friendship” lasts but all along I know she is a FAKE.
Well, that is just one incident.
Here is another one:
I earn more than this lady, I save as much as I can and she squanders her money such that by mid-month she has little or no money left. She comes to me when she is broke and I support her to my ability. Earlier this month I ask her to take me shopping “it is a thing frienSds do” and she seems hesitant but eventually she agrees to it. My shopping runs smoothly until I go to purchase chicken. She give me a bad eye and insists that she is in a hurry and has to leave immediately.
Here are self-explanatory signs of fake friends that I have observed while making friends:
1. THEY ARE ALWAYS JEALOUS.
2. THEY AVOID YOU IN YOUR TIME OF NEED.
3. THEY NEVER WANT YOU TO SUCCEED.
4. THEY ARE NOT SUPPORTIVE.
5. THEY ALWAYS GOSSIP ABOUT YOU WITH OTHER PEOPLE.
6. THEY CONTACT YOU WHEN THEY NEED YOUR HELP OR WHEN IT SOOTS THEM.
7. THEY TALK DOWN ON YOU.
8. THEY COUNT LOSS WHEN THEY SPEND ON YOU.
9. THEY DELIGHT IN YOUR PAIN.
As an important role in vision and reproduction.
• Infants and children – 2000 iµ/day to 3300 iµ/day.
• Females – 4000 iµ/day
• Males – 5000 iµ/day
Helps in calcium and phosphorous absorption in the bones, teeth and intestines.
• Infants, children and adolescents – 10 mcg/day
• Men and women – 5mcg/day
It is an antioxidants and also protects the cells from damage which may cause some cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
• Children – 6 mg/day
• Males – 15 mg/day
• Female – 15 mg/day
• Pregnancy – 15 mg/day
• Lactating – 19 mg/day
It has a role in the formation and regulation of blood clotting proteins.
• Children – 30-55 µg/day
• Males – 120 µg/day
• Females – 90 µg/day
VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN)
A coenzyme involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins.
• Children 0.5 – 0.6mgday
• Males – 1.3 mg/day
• Females – 1.1 mg/day
• Pregnancy and lactation – 1.4 mg/day
VITAMINS B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)
It is a coenzyme in oxidation and reduction reactions.
• Children – 0.5 – 0.6 mg/day
• Males – 1.3 mg/day
• Females – 1.1 mg/day
• Pregnancy – 1.4mg/day
• Lactating – 1.6mg/day
VITAMIN B3 (NIACIN)
It is a coenzyme in energy metabolism and hydrogen transfer with numerous dehydrogenases.
• Children – 6 to 8 mg/day
• Males – 16mg/day
• Females – 14 mg/day
• Pregnancy – 18 mg/day
• Lactating – 17mg/day
Essential for the development and maintenance of the red blood cells.
• Children 0.9- 1.2 µg/day
• Males – 2.4 µg/day
• Females 2.4 µg/day
• Pregnancy 2.6 µg/day
• Lactating – 2.8 µg/day
FOLIC ACID (FOLATE)
It has an important role in red blood cells, DNA and RNA synthesis.
• Children – 150 to 200 µg/day
• Males – 400 µg/day
• Females – 400 µg/day
• Pregnancy – 600 µg/day
• Lactating – 500 µ g/day
It is a structure component of teeth and bones.
• Children – 800 mg/day
• Males – 1000 mg/day
• Females – 1000mg/day
• Pregnancy and lactating – 1200 mg/day
It is a component of haemoglobin which transports oxygen to the body tissues.
• Children – 5.8 to 8.9 mg/day
• Males – 13.7 mg/day
• Females – 11.3 mg/day
• Lactating – 15 mg/day
A structural component of bones and teeth.
• Children – 80 to 130mg/day
• Males – 410 mg/day
• Females – 310 mg/day
• Pregnancy – 350 mg/day
• Lactating – 310 mg/day
It is a structural component of bones and teeth.
• Children – 460 to 500 mg/day
• Males – 700 mg/day
• Females 700 mg/day
It is important in acid base balance.
• Children – 3000 to 3800 mg/day
• Males – 4700 mg/day
• Females – 4700 mg/day
• Lactating – 5100 mg/day
It is important in DNA and protein synthesis.
• Children – 3 to 5mg/day
• Males – 11mg/day
• Females – 8mg/day
• Pregnancy – 11mg/day
• Lactating – 12mg/day
World Health Organization (2016). Human Vitamin and Mineral Requirements. Food and Nutrition Division FAO Rome. Pg 29-290.
Alberta Health Services (2013). Nutrition Guidelines Vitamins and Minerals. Pg 3-9.
Corinne H Robinson (2000). Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Fourth Edition. Pg 91-111.
It is hard to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy because of hormonal imbalance but, hey, you have to do it for you and your baby.
The following may not be your ideal meal right now but they are very crucial to you and the fetal growth.
Greens include spinach, broccoli , kale, cabbage, lettuce, mustard greens, iceberg, collard greens and traditional vegetables. They have nutrients such as iron, potassium, vitamin A,C,K and fiber.
Iron is essential for pregnant women as it forms hemoglobin which is required for transportation of adequate oxygen across the body. It is also essential for fetal growth. Its deficiency leads to low hemoglobin in the body hence iron deficiency anemia, dizziness, weakness, extreme fatigue, poor appetite and poor fetal growth.
Fiber is essential to minimize constipation during pregnancy.
2. Dairy products
They include milk, yogurt, cheese among others and they contain calcium which is required for healthy bone formation for the fetus. The mother also requires calcium for healthy and strong bones.
Eggs are high biological proteins which are essential for fetal growth and brain health due its choline and omega 3 fatty acids contents.
Carbohydrates provide energy required for fetal growth and therefore the intake should be increased.
Unsaturated fats such as olive oil contribute in the development of foetus.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for fetal nervous system development.
A minimum of 8 glasses of water a day is essential for elimination of waste material from the body and for nourishment of the fetus and the mother.
Feel free to add other points and correct me where I am wrong.
Thank you for reading.