Nutriset is a food company in France that makes all its products for humanitarian aid programs. One of the most popular products for use in emergencies is a sweet spread. It is made with peanuts, sugar, fats, minerals and vitamins. It is called Plumpy’nut.
The American group Save the Children is using it to help fight hunger among refugees from the violence in the Darfur area of Sudan. The Wall Street Journal reported that so far, workers have given out more than three hundred metric tons of Plumpy'nut Aid officials told the newspaper that the product has helped cut malnutrition rates in western Sudan in half.
Plumpy'nut can be given to families without the need to go to feeding centers. It comes ready to eat. It does not have to be mixed with water, the way dry milk does. Clean drinking water is often in short supply in crisis situations.
The French product is also being used to treat children in Malawi, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. And Plumpy’nut was used to help feed victims of the tsunami waves in the Indian Ocean in December.
Nutriset says Plumpy'nut can stay fresh for two years. Individual servings are ninety-two grams. The company says Plumpy'nut is similar in nutritional value to the treatment known as therapeutic milk f-one-hundred.
Normally, some children get a bad reaction to peanuts or other foods. But research noted on the Nutriset Web site says allergic reactions may be suppressed in undernourished children.
Michel Lescanne started Nutriset in nineteen eighty-six to make food for humanitarian aid. The company has a small factory in Malaunay, France. Nutriset also makes products like dry milk that are traditionally used to fight hunger.
In times of crisis, the company will set up emergency operations twenty-four hours a day.
Nutriset says it reinvests its profits into research and development. The company works directly with United Nations agencies and other organizations. Its products are not marketed through businesses. But Nutriset does want to organize a system of independent local production of Plumpy'nut.
The company is on the Web at nutriset.org. That's n-u-t-r-i-s-e-t dot o-r-g.
And Internet users can learn more about development news at voaspecialenglish.com.
This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss. I'm Gwen Outen.