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Opening of Edesia Facility in U.S.

On March 29, 2010, Edesia Global Nutrition Solutions officially opened its new 15,000 square foot facility in Providence, Rhode Island, to produce food to treat malnourished children in developing countries.  Edesia is the eleventh member of the Plumpyfield Network, partners of the French company Nutriset, which are licensed to produce and sell patented Nutriset products.  It is the first member of this network in the United States.  Launched through a partnership between Nutriset and the Rhode Island-based nonprofit organization, Industrial Revelation, Inc., Edesia will produce enough food to reach 450,000 children a year. This is an important contribution to help meet rapidly expanding global demand for these products.

Edesia will service the needs of U.S. humanitarian organizations - both governmental and nonprofit - that must use American food aid dollars to buy goods produced in the U.S. with American ingredients.  Edesia provides U.S. government buyers their first opportunity to buy the well-known Nutriset products while meeting these requirements.  The most famous product is Plumpy'Nut®, the peanut-based therapeutic food that has demonstrated over 90% recovery rates for severely malnourished children, even in the toughest environments.  Over the past few years, the product line has expanded to include similar products that serve as dietary supplements for children with moderate malnutrition, such as Plumpy'Doz®, Supplementary'Plumpy®, and Nutributter®.

Each of Edesia's products uses at least one dairy ingredient, ranging from non-fat milk to whey protein concentrates or dried sweet whey.  Vegetable proteins, both soy and peanut, are included to reach the overall protein target for each product.  Plumpy'Nut®, for example, includes roughly 30% dairy protein ingredients based on the World Health Organization's protocol.  For supplementary foods, dairy ingredients likely make up 5-10% of the overall product.

According to Nutriset's website, Edesia "will be involved in several fields of action. In addition to manufacturing various Nutriset products for the treatment and prevention of malnutrition, Edesia will create research partnerships" with universities, institutes, and partner producers.  

USDEC has been active for the past several months in helping Edesia establish links with U.S. suppliers of both whey protein ingredients and milk powder. USDEC is also collaborating indirectly with Nutriset in a clinical trial testing the efficacy of whey proteins in ready-to-use therapeutic foods for AIDS patients in Ethiopia, which is profiled in the Ongoing Research section of Dairy for Global Nutrition.  Please contact USDEC's Edward Fetzer for more information.