Hormel's fortified fight against malnutrition
by MEAT+POULTRY staff
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AUSTIN, Minn. – Hormel Foods Corp. is doing its part to help malnourished children. The company announced the availability of its fortified poultry-based spread (FPBS) for purchase under Title I for US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) feeding programs and Title II for US Agency for International Development (USAID) programs. Hormel’s product was created specifically for the purpose of helping address malnutrition issues in children.
FPBS is used as an ingredient that blends easily into foods. It is fortified so that it can be customized to meet specific dietary needs of whoever is consuming it.FPBS is used as an ingredient that blends easily into foods. It is fortified so that it can be customized to meet specific dietary needs of whoever is consuming it.
For example, the product was previously tailored to meet the specific micronutrient needs of children in Guatemala based on findings from earlier research conducted by Hormel Foods (known as Project SPAMMY). The research demonstrated the benefits of supplementing traditional diets with high-quality protein and micronutrients.
During the Project SPAMMY trial, more than 160 preschool-age children in Guatemala ate either a fortified or unfortified version of FPBS on school days over a 20-week period. The fortified version contained the addition of several micronutrients which were deficient in this area of the world. Both versions were identical in protein, calories and fat.
“It is encouraging to see these results and the success that FPBS is having in improving the lives of so many children in need,” said Kevin L. Myers, Ph.D., vice president of research and development at Hormel Foods.
More specifically, the Project SPAMMY study revealed:
• All participants showed greater-than-expected improvement in cognitive scores;
• There was a 44 percent reduction in the number of school days missed due to illness;
• Children receiving the fortified version of the product showed statistical improvements in vitamin D and B12 levels; and
• A positive correlation was found between increase in cognitive gain scores and vitamin D concentrations in the treatment group.
The research was funded jointly by Hormel Foods and the Micronutrient-Fortified Food Aid Products Pilot (MFFAPP) and administered by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service under the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) Program.
Hormel Foods has been working with partners in Guatemala since 2008 to provide FPBS to malnourished children and donated 2.5 million cans of the protein-based item in 2014.
“Every time I return to Guatemala it is amazing to see the growth of this project and the positive contribution the product is making in the lives of so many,” said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chairman of the board and CEO of Hormel . “We are encouraged by the success thus far and are excited about the potential of FPBS to help improve the lives of children and families.”
Hormel Foods and its partners, Caritas and Food For The Poor, are providing FPBS to 8,300 families in Guatemala, which represents more than 30,000 Guatemalan children. Additionally, Hormel Foods provides scholarships to eight high school-age students to attend the Villa de los Niños boarding school in Guatemala City.