Friday, April 8, 2011

peanute butter--better than the segue

Plumpy'nut is a peanut-based food for use in famine relief which was formulated in 1997 by André Briend, a French paediatric nutritionist. It is a registered trademark of Nutriset, the manufacturer. UNICEF purchases 90% of its supply of Plumpy'nut from Nutriset factories in France for humanitarian aid.

OverviewInspired by the popular Nutella spread, Plumpy'nut is a high-protein, high-energy, peanut-based paste in a foil wrapper. Plumpy’nut requires no water, preparation, or refrigeration and has a 2 year shelf life, making it easy to deploy in difficult conditions to treat severe acute malnutrition. It is distributed under medical supervision, predominantly to parents of malnourished children where the nutritional status of the children is compromised. It is manufactured by Nutriset, a French company based in Rouen for use by humanitarian organizations for food aid distribution.

The ingredients are peanut paste, vegetable oil, powdered milk, powdered sugar, vitamins, and minerals, combined in a foil pouch. It tastes slightly sweeter than peanut butter. Plumpy'nut contains vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K, and minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, iodine, sodium, and selenium.

The paste is administered in 500 kilocalories 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.

How it worksPlumpy’nut is frequently used as a treatment for emergency malnutrition cases. It helps with rapid weight gain, which can make the difference between life and death for a young child. The product is also easy for children to eat since they can feed themselves the soft paste. The fortified peanut butter-like paste contains a balance of fats, carbohydrates and proteins (macronutrients), and vitamins and minerals (micronutrients). Peanuts contain mono-unsaturated fats, which are easy to digest. They are also very high in calories, which means that a child will get a lot of energy from just small amounts, important because malnutrition shrinks the stomach. They are rich in zinc and protein — both good for the immune system and to aid long bone growth in reversing stunted height, while protein is also needed for muscle development. Peanuts are also a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to convert food into energy.

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