Malnutrition: WCD department seeks CFTRI support

Malnutrition: WCD department seeks CFTRI support

The Department of Women and Child Development has sought the support of the Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) as malnutrition continues to be a major challenge among children. 

The department, in a recent communication to CFTRI, has urged the famed food research agency to supply  food products, containing necessary nutrients to set right the deficiencies among pre-school children at anganwadis. In an interim reply, the institute has advised the department to approach private players as it is involved in only research and development (R&D).

The institute has developed a package of seven products — rice mix, high-protein rusk, energy food, nutria chikki with spirulina, nutria sprinkle, sesame paste and fortified mango bar — containing macro and micronutrients containing necessary nutrients for children. The products were supplied to children under a pilot project and it yielded positive results.

The institute and the department had conducted a study under the 12th Five Year Plan at 12 anganwadis in Nanjangud taluk two years ago and the products were served among 250 children for six months. There was substantial improvement in the health of the children.

B V Sathyendra Rao, senior scientist and also head of Technology Transfer and Business Development Department, CFTRI, told DH, "The technologies of five of the seven products have been transferred to industries. Sesame paste technology is yet to be transferred. But the CFTRI is ready to transfer the technology, if any industry shows interest. We have advised the department, in an interim reply, to source the products from the industries."

"The pilot project was funded by the Union government. We may take up more such projects if the the government wants us to do. With the available funds, we can do pilot projects. Since we are a R&D laboratory, large scale production and supply on recurring basis is not feasible. There are authorised producers, who use CFTRI technology. Their products are quality guaranteed," he said.