Technical Director GAIN Indonesia Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition Jakarta, Indonesia
The prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia among female adolescents in Indonesia is high. The Purula biopeptide product was developed as an intervention alternative to iron supplementation tablets. This study assess product acceptability and identify priorities for improvement
Design: A one-day assessment for a mixed-gender group of high school students in one study site and a 14-day observational trial for a group of female high school students in another site were undertaken in October 2018. Main outcomes were measured via a quantitative survey. In-depth interview data were also collected and analysed using thematic analysis to supplement the quantitative findings.
Setting: Pandeglang District, Banten Province, and Denpasar City, Bali Province.
Participants: 65 female adolescents in Pandeglang for a 14-day trial and 60 adolescents (30 female and 30 male) for a single-day exposure in Denpasar
Overall acceptability was rated as “good.” Factors related to acceptance were study location, organoleptic assessment of the products, and teacher’s supervision and support. Consumption rates fell with duration of use in one study site, the primary reasons being organoleptic unattractiveness, boredom consuming the product and negative side-effects. The product’s fishy smell and salty taste were cited as unappetizing. The main concerns voiced regarding sustained product consumption were possible side effects and the consequences of discontinuation. Not surprisingly, participant’s willingness to recommend the product to family members was correlated with level of acceptability.
Three factors are vital to sustained product use: Improving the product’s sensory qualities, better highlighting health benefits, and providing guidance on side-effect management.