AUSTIN, Minn. – Research on the impact of SPAMMY, a fortified poultry product developed by Hormel Foods Corp., shows the product can help improve physical and cognitive development in malnourished children.

Hormel developed SPAMMY to meet the specific micronutrient needs of children in Guatemala. SPAMMY is used as an ingredient that can blend easily into customary diets, the company said. More than 160 preschool-age children ate either a fortified or unfortified formulation of SPAMMY on school days over a 20-week period. The fortified SPAMMY contained several micronutrients, such as vitamins D and B12. Both formulations were identical in protein, calories and fat. The trial 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 fortified SPAMMY showed statistical improvements in vitamin D and B12 levels
• A positive correlation was found between increase in cognitive gain scores and vitamin D concentrations in the treatment group

“It is encouraging to see these results and the success that SPAMMY is having in improving the lives of so many children in need,” said Kevin Myers, Ph. D., vice president of research and development of Hormel Foods. “Our company and our employees are enthusiastic about this program, and we plan to continue our efforts in Guatemala.”

The research is part of Project SPAMMY. The project is a public/private partnership jointly funded by Hormel Foods and the Micronutrient-Fortified Food Aid Products Pilot (MFFAPP). Us Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service administers the program under the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) Program.