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Higher dairy content preferred vs. soy to prevent wasting, $0.0017 cost difference well justified

A paper recently published by USDEC collaborator Dr. Nina Schlossman and Tufts University compared supplements containing 33% dairy protein vs. 15% (difference provided by soy). The independent study concludes: “Meals with 33% compared to 15% of protein from dairy may help prevent wasting and anemia.” It also scores a major point as the cost of dairy has been a perceived issue in the food aid community: “Although milk protein is more expensive than ingredients such as soy isolate, the difference is currently not large - $0.0017 per 92 g ration” – a very small cost for a more effective product.  The study, conducted among pre-school children, took place in West Africa where 38% of children are stunted.  Abstract available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26609172   

An estimated 70,000 mt of RUTF ~$300 million are purchased by major aid agencies to treat severe malnutrition. The potential market for supplementary foods, designed to manage moderate malnutrition and prevent stunting is potentially much larger, and could reach $1 billion by 2020.  USDEC is working towards the goal of obtaining a dairy content minimum in world (Codex) RUTF specifications and making the provision of dairy a part of the United Nations’ standard of care for malnutrition.