FPBS is used as an ingredient that blends easily into customary diets, and the fortification can be customized to meet the needs of the recipient population.
For example, the product was 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®). In a public/private partnership jointly funded by Hormel Foods and the Micronutrient-Fortified Food Aid Products Pilot (MFFAPP), administered by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service under the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition (McGovern-Dole) Program, this latest research demonstrated the benefits of supplementing traditional diets with high-quality protein and micronutrients. During the 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, such as vitamins D and B12, which are important nutrients for children, but are deficient in this area of the world. Both versions were identical in protein, calories and fat.
The 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
- A positive correlation was found between increase in cognitive gain scores and vitamin D concentrations in the treatment group
Dr. Noel W. Solomons, scientific director for CeSSIAM, a partner in the project stated, “The findings revealed the magnitude of deficiencies of two vitamins – D and B12 – in young Guatemalans, and FPBS has outstanding potential to address this situation when it is incorporated into meals fed to children.”
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 chief executive officer at Hormel Foods. “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.”