Open Access Development, production, and quality control of nutritional supplements for a national supplementation programme in Mexico

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The objective of this study was to develop supplements for nutritional support of children less than two years old and for pregnant and lactating women under a multidisciplinary Programme of Education, Health, and Nutrition (PROGRESA) that the Mexican Government is implementing for populations in extreme poverty. Nutrient composition, physicochemical properties, and feasibility of production and utilization were considered in designing the supplements. The nutrient composition took into account the dietary patterns and nutritional status of the target populations. The ingredients and processing methods were selected considering local availability and production at a relatively low cost while maintaining a supplement of a high quality that would be widely accepted by the target population. The final products were initially evaluated for acceptability by 40 children, 52 pregnant women, and 62 lactating women. Nine products were developed: six for children and three for women. The children's products were three powders that were used to prepare a beverage with chocolate, vanilla, and banana flavours and three powders that were used to prepare a more viscous solution in the form of pap with the same three flavours. After the acceptance test, the use of the pap supplements was recommended for children four months to two years of age. The supplements for women were also powders used to prepare a beverage with vanilla or banana flavour or with no flavour. The products were widely accepted in sensory evaluation tests. For the children's products, the average scores were 4.11 to 4.29 for the beverage and 3.98 to 4.15 for the viscous mixture (range, 1 to 5). The women's products received average scores of 4.75 to 5.70 from pregnant women and 4.80 to 5.40 from lactating women (range, 1 to 7). Evaluation in the community demonstrated that the supplements were widely acceptable and well consumed. Today more than three million rations of supplements are consumed every day, and an evaluation of their potential benefits is being carried out.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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