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Plumpy'nut



  Plumpy'nut, more commonly known as Plumpy, is a peanut-based food for use in famine relief which was formulated by André Briend, a French scientist in 1999.

Additional recommended knowledge

It is a high protein and high energy peanut-based paste in a foil wrapper that can be distributed to children at home rather than in specialist feeding stations and can be eaten without any preparation. It tastes like a slightly sweeter kind of peanut butter. It is categorized by the WHO as a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).

Description

The problem of malnutrition has often been addressed by nutritious powdered milk formulas called F-75 and F-100. These have to be prepared in hygienic conditions with clean water and once prepared must be chilled to prevent spoilage. This entails their being distributed in medically staffed feeding stations. Plumpy’nut costs about the same as the milk powders but is easier to transport in bulk and takes up less space.

The innovation of the Plumpy’nut bar is that it requires no preparation or special supervision and greatly reduces the amount of money needed to be spent on feeding stations. It is very difficult to over eat and keeps even after opening. It has a 2 year shelf life when unopened. An untrained adult such as a parent can deliver it to a malnourished child at home.

The product was inspired by the popular Nutella spread. It is manufactured by Nutriset, a French company that specialises in making food supplements for relief work in their factory near Rouen in northern France.

The ingredients are: peanut paste, vegetable oil, milk powder, powdered sugar, vitamins and minerals, combined in a foil pouch. Each pack provides 500 kilocalories (2.1 MJ).

Application

The New York Times reported that the paste is administered in 500 kilocalorie (2.1 MJ) packets, twice daily, for two to four weeks, in combination with Unimix, a vitamin-enriched flour for making porridge, and will reverse malnutrition in severely malnourished children.1 The cost for four weeks of Plumpy'nut and Unimix is $20 per child.

The World Health Organization has recognized the utility of this food for famine relief. Plumpy'nut can be packaged in local peanut-producing areas, such as Malawi and Niger, by mixing the ground nut and milk paste with a slurry of vitamins and minerals from Nutriset.

Médecins Sans Frontières (known as Doctors without Borders in the US) has been dispensing fourteen packets (1 week's worth) of Plumpy'nut in 22 centers in Niger since May 2005, but only to those children who are dramatically underweight and sufficiently well to benefit from outpatient care.

Project Peanut Butter has done extensive field trials with RUTF in Malawi from 2001-2007, operates the first local factory where Plumpy'nut is produced, and distributes this therapeutic food to malnourished Malawian children in more than 20 nutritional rehabilitation centers.

With this one product, we can treat three-quarters of [the] children on an outpatient basis. Before, we had to hospitalize them all and give them fortified milk.

—Dr. Milton Tectonidis, nutrition specialist for Médecins Sans Frontières

Meds and Food for Kids currently uses a peanut-based Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food to combat malnutrition in Haiti, where approximately 25% of toddlers are malnourished. The Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food is a mixture of peanut butter, powdered milk, sugar, oil, vitamins and minerals, and is delivered in an outpatient program, in which a mother can give her child spoonfuls of the food, which requires no cooking or preparation, amid her other tasks.

See also

 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Plumpy'nut". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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