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The use of nutrient-optimizing/cost-minimizing software to develop ready-to-use therapeutic foods for malnourished pregnant women in Mali

, : The use of nutrient-optimizing/cost-minimizing software to develop ready-to-use therapeutic foods for malnourished pregnant women in Mali. Food Science & Nutrition 3(2): 110-119

Malnutrition affects people of all ages in many countries in the developing world. One treatment for malnutrition is the intervention involving ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs). This study developed RUTFs for pregnant women in Mali using formulation computer software and largely local, plant-based ingredients. Mali has the world's second highest birth rate and infant mortality rate. Nutrient profiles of possible ingredients and their prices from 2004 to 2009 were entered into the software. Computer-selected ingredients included peanuts, cowpeas, and millet as well as rice or barley koji (sources of α-amylase and ingredients). Components of the six selected formulations were milled, hydrolyzed with koji α-amylase, and heated at 121°C for 15 min. The contents of protein, fat, ash, fiber, carbohydrates, amino acid, and energy of dehydrated products were determined and compared with software-predicted values. Actual and predicted values were comparable: the protein content was 1.45-2.04% higher, and ash content was 0.60-0.89% higher than the predicted values, while the fat content was 0.18-0.88% lower, the lysine content was 0.17-0.25% lower, and fiber content was 0.16% lower to 2.06% higher than the predicted values. The difference in actual and predicted energy levels were 14.8-22.2%. The amount of RUTF needed to meet the requirement of most limiting nutrients, lysine and energy, ranged from 2620 to 3002 g. The costs for producing the RUTFs were substantially lower than importing commercial RUTFs even with increased ingredient prices in Mali from 2004 to 2009.


PMID: 25838889

DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.175

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