SA Journal of Education, Vol 43, No 3 (2023)

Improving soya mince recipes in the National School Nutrition Programme in South Africa

Carmen Muller, Maricia Margrit van Deventer, Beulah Pretorius, Hettie Carina Schönfeldt


The National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) in South Africa provides thousands of needy children with school meals on school days. One, and in some cases 2, of these meals per week are soya based. A review of the NSNP revealed that many children do not eat on those days because they find the soya mince meal unappetising. As the meal served within the NSNP may be the only meal these learners receive during a day, it is essential to ensure learners’ willingness to consume the meal, and, therefore, that the meal is made appetising and nutritious. During visits to 3 schools in the Tshwane district, interviews were conducted with school meal handlers. Information gathered from these sessions was used to develop 4 new recipes that fall within the guidelines and budget of the NSNP. The final recipes were beef bolognaise soya mince, chicken curry soya mince, chilli con carne soya mince and one-pot soya mince biryani. To evaluate the acceptability of these newly developed recipes, a sensory panel of 100 university students that formed part of the NSNP during their schooling years was assembled. The sensory evaluation was done by comparing the existing soya mince meal with the 4 new soya mince recipes. One of the new soya mince meals was found to be the preferred dish and was rated significantly higher in acceptability than the original soya mince meal.

ORCiD iDs of authors:
Carmen Muller –
Maricia Margrit van Deventer –
Beulah Pretorius -
Hettie Carina Schönfeldt -

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