Organoleptic properties, ease of use, and perceived health effects are determinants of acceptability of micronutrient supplements among poor Mexican women

Sera L. Young, Ilian Blanco, Sonia Hernandez-Cordero, Gretel H. Pelto, Lynnette M. Neufeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

We assessed the acceptability of 3 micronutrient supplements for pregnant and lactating women: micronutrient powder (Sprinkles), a fortified food (Nutrivida), and tablets. Pregnant or lactating beneficiaries of the Oportunidades program participating in a cluster randomized supplementation trial in urban Mexico were surveyed about the acceptability of 1 of 3 supplements (n = 268). Semistructured interviews (n = 40) were also conducted with a subset of women in the trial and from adjacent rural areas. Acceptability of the supplements was evaluated based on women's perceptions and experiences with organoleptic qualities, ease of use, and perceived health effects (positive and negative). The median Likert scale ranking of organoleptic and use qualities for all 3 supplements was "I liked it" (2 on a scale of 1-5). However, responses to open-ended survey questions and semistructured interviews indicated decided preferences. Tablets and Sprinkles were strongly preferred over Nutrivida. In interviews, women expressed dislike of the smell, taste, and texture of Nutrivida; they found it cumbersome to store and prepare and reported the most negative effects with it. Between tablets and Sprinkles, tablets were preferred because of the absence of perceptible taste or smell and the simplicity of use. This study provides valuable insights into our currently limited understanding of women's perceptions and preferences among supplements by broadening the concept of acceptability beyond organoleptic properties. Such an analytical approach is useful for identifying both appropriate nutritional supplements within a given sociocultural context as well as the information that should be included in nutrition education to improve adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-611
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume140
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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