Posted by News Express | 10 October 2020 | 603 times
The Managing Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria plc, Dr Paul Gbadedo, has commended Micronutrient Laboratories Limited for the introduction of Cognito Micronutrient Powder as a contribution to fighting the threat of infant malnutrition in Nigeria.
Gbadedo spoke Thursday 14 October as he unveiled the new micronutrient powder formulation at the sidelines of the 44th annual conference of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Dr Gbadedo is also the president of the Institute. He observed that Nigeria needs to pay closer attention to nutrition. “It is true that we have carbohydrates, protein, fats, but micronutrients are very critical in avoiding malnutrition and malnourishment especially in the younger ones.”
Micronutrient Laboratories Limited stated that Cognito MNP would enhance the nutritional value of food served to children from six months to five years with the addition of Cognito.
Nigeria, according to UNICEF. has the second-highest burden of stunted children in the world, with a national prevalence rate of 32 per cent of children under five. An estimated 2 million children in Nigeria suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), but the country reaches only two out of every ten children affected with treatment.
Gbadedo commended Micronutrient Laboratories Limited and its Chief Innovation Officer, Dr Kenny Acholonu, for remaining focused on leading indigenous contribution to science and technology.
Acholonu, on his part, averred that Cognito MNP “is a readily available micronutrient powder for optimising the nutritive value of local foods for all malnourished children including those in challenging settings such as conflict areas, IDPs, and poverty-chains.”
He said that the micronutrient formulation is a direct response to the challenge thrown by international agencies bothered with the high incidence of infant mortality traceable to food deficiencies and the lack of local capacity.
“Rotary International and UNICEF threw the challenge of local production of micronutrient powder in Nigeria in 2009. Before and since then, Nigeria imports MNP. They approached me based on a recommendation by BASF, the world leader in chemicals. My team and I took up the challenge. We produced Micronutrient powder to global standards,” Dr Acholonu said.
“Cognito will assist Nigeria to tackle the problem of micronutrient deficiency. It will be useful in tackling the challenge of food lacking in vital nutrients that many of our deprived citizens eat and serve their children,” he added.
Rachael Amadasun, Technical Manager, said Micronutrient Laboratories formulated their product in line with the Federal Government’s prescription. She noted that “Cognito® MNP is a single-serve blend of 15 essential micronutrients (10 vitamins and 5 minerals). It is a 1gram powder used to improve the nutritional content of most staple foods. Users add Cognito to “semi-solid foods and porridges after cooking and at a temperature conducive to feed the child. A sachet of Cognito® MNP is sufficient to provide 100% RNI for children within the age range (6 months to 59 months).”
Home fortification of food is one of the intervention strategies the Federal Government adopted to prevent micronutrient deficiencies in children under-5 years.
NAFDAC has approved Cognito MNP while the company says it has done initial presentations to the Federal Ministry of Health and some state governments.
•PHOTO: Managing Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria plc, Dr Paul Gbadedo, speaking Thursday while unveiling Cognito Micronutrient Powder on Thursday. With him is Dr Kenny Acholonu, the Chief Innovation Officer, Micronutrient Laboratories Limited
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