Glycemic Index of Five Corn and Cassava Staples in Ghana

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Glycemic index (GI) is referred to as the grouping of foods based on their ability to raise blood glucose level after consumption. The objective of this study was to determine and assess the GI of some Ghanaian corn and cassava staples (abolo, akple, kafa, locally made kokonte and processed kokonte) and to investigate the effect of processing on them. Ten healthy subjects consisting of five males and five females were involved by means of a cross over trial. The study subjects were served 50 g of pure glucose dissolved in 200 ml of pure water on two different occasions. They were also served specific amounts of test foods which contained 50 g of available carbohydrate on specific days. The GI was assessed by quantifying the blood glucose level of study subjects at the fasting state and after consumption of reference food (glucose) and test foods within a period of 2 h at intervals 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120th min. The GI value for the test food was calculated for each subject by dividing the blood glucose incremental area under the glucose response curve for the test food by the blood glucose incremental area under curve for the reference food and multiplying by 100. The GI value for each test food is the mean or average for the ten study subjects. Among the test foods that had their glycemic assessed, locally made kokonte had the least GI of 7 followed by processed kokonte which GI of 18 while kafa had low GI value of 29. Abolo and akple had medium GI value of 58 and 69, respectively. The mean age, BMI, weight, height and waist circumference were 23.1±2.60years, 24.39±3.1kg/m2, 64.1±7.9kg, 161.40±6.04cm and 74.6±6.9cm, respectively. There was no significant difference between the GI of locally made kokonte and processed kokonte (p > 0.05) indicating that the form of processing had no significant effect on the GI of kokonte. The present findings should lead and assist health care professionals, diabetics and consumers in their selection of local staples and meal planning.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Master of Philosophy Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics