Poster Theater Flash Session
Objectives : To develop an improved optimization tool for formulating locally suitable low-cost specialized nutritious foods (SNF) that can promote health and growth in malnourished children.
Methods : My method involves three parts: develop linear programming optimization tool automatically ensuring protein quality through protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score; optimize recipes according to current standards for ready-to-use therapeutic food, ready-to-use supplementary food, and super cereal plus, and compare nutrient composition and ingredient cost of optimized recipes with those of current recipes; and prepare, test, and refine a prototype super cereal plus recipe.
Results : My linear programming optimization tool maintains nutrient and composition constraints conforming to current standards (including the newly updated codex on protein quality in ready-to-use therapeutic food), creating low-cost recipes from local ingredients. Deriving estimates from extant data, the tool automatically ensures protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score without needing animal protein, balancing essential amino acids of ingredients. Applying the tool, I optimized SNF recipes first according to international commodity prices and next for each of 24 sub-Saharan African countries with published local price data, meeting the existing nutrient requirements, including protein quality, at minimal estimated ingredient cost, lower than ingredient cost of current recipes. Following prototyping of the optimized super cereal plus recipe, laboratory analysis verified the tool’s accuracy and sensory analysis suggested appropriate acceptability.
Conclusions : Based on the preliminary results, my linear programming optimization tool offers an alternative, potentially effective approach to develop low-cost recipes using local crops.
Funding Sources : No funding was provided. Prototyping and testing of optimized super cereal plus was conducted in Kenya with the support of Valid Nutrition and Ajinomoto.