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Nutritional supplement for famine relief

Challenge

Develop nutritional supplements that are easy to transport and use.

Problem

More than 850 million people live in a state of hunger. Aid agencies serving areas of hunger and famine require therapeutic foodstuffs that are easy to eat with a high nutrition value to mass ratio, and a long shelf-life.

Solution

Nutriset is a French company dedicated to humanitarian relief. It has developed products to treat malnutrition. Plumpy'nut is a thick brown paste made from ground peanuts, sugar and powdered milk, fortified with vitamins and minerals. It delivers 500 calories per 90 g packet. Plumpy'nut isn't perishable, and requires no refrigeration or water preparation.

The World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières have used the product in famine relief, and it was distributed to an estimated 500,000 children in 2007.

Plumpy'nut can be packaged in local peanut-producing areas by mixing the ground nut and milk paste with a slurry of vitamins and minerals from Nutriset, and the firm is partnering with entrepreneurs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger.

Nutriset reinvests 80% of its profit into developing new products.

Benefits

Where used, Plumpy’nut has been shown to help halve malnutrition rates
With no direct competitors, Nutriset’s sales topped US$25 million in 2006
Non-perishable and easily transported
Easy to digest and high-energy density

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