In order to contribute in fighting against vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in Cameroon through carefully use of crude palm oil (CPO), three surveys were carried out in Douala town and some of its surrounding rural areas. The first consisted of information collection from 55 sellers on the CPO's sales conditions (containers, exhibition conditions and liquefaction method). The second and the last was to collect information respectively on the use and the consumption of dishes prepared with unbleached CPO respectively from 199 housewives and 309 individuals. The results reveal that 87% of sellers exposed CPO in the open air during commercialization although 44% of them knew that sunlight could have a negative impact on its quality. Heating and/or sun exposure were the technics used to liquefy oil. On the 98% of households that prepared with CPO, 93% of them often bleached it, although 64% were aware of the detrimental effect of this process. The social status of housewives significantly influenced this result. Unbleached CPO was used to prepare many dishes which were frequently consumed by 87% of people with a significant influence of lifestyle and region of origin. The results of this study showed that CPO could be used for fight against VAD in Cameroon if it is carefully commercialized and used in households and if people frequently consume dishes prepared with unbleached CPO.
The knowledge of information on selling conditions, use and consumption of CPO will contribute to fight against VAD. In fact, it will guide policies for the development of strategies to improve in its commercialization conditions; to propagate the CPO and its consumption throughout the country and to improve nutritional education.
Cameroon; vitamin A deficiency; carotenoids degradation; crude palm oil; selling and cooking conditions; consumption