A team of researchers at IIT-Kharagpur (agricultural and food engineering department) has developed a paste to fight malnutrition. It is food in a tube, rich in micronutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins and all dietary needs which, will be an effective tool to fight severe acute malnutrition between kids of six months to six years.
In rural India, 55% children in that age bracket are severely malnourished, while it is 45% in the urban population. According to a joint UN report, 15% of these afflicted children require medical attention. The remaining 85% can be treated with diet therapy. This product can provide nutrition to these children to fight the disease.
The paste needs to be put in the child’s mouth and needs no dilution. There’s no need to remove the product from the flexi pouch either. There have been five formulations on three foodstuff – peanuts, potato and Bengal gram. 100gm of this paste can provide 500-550 kcalorie. The dosage will vary from child-to-child. Regular children can also have it but not as a replacement of proper meal.
The children with severe acute malnutrition are outpatients, and this product can maintain their nutrition level. It will also aide AIDS patients whose immunity has been compromised. Since the product is low income groups, the pricing is low, Rs 50-60 per kg, with a shelf-life of two years. It’s entirely organic with no additives or artificial preservatives.