Open Access Local food price analysis by linear programming: A new approach to assess the economic value of fortified food supplements

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Abstract:

Linear programming can be applied to identify a nutritionally adequate diet of the lowest cost, since price and nutrient contents are linearly related to food weight. Most computer spreadsheets now include an easy-to-use solver function that is suitable for this purpose. This approach can also be used to estimate the effect of introducing a food supplement on the minimal cost required to provide a nutritionally adequate diet. It can also provide an estimate of the expenses saved by families in relation to the sums spent by the donor after the distribution of a food supplement. This method is illustrated by comparing the economic value of two food supplements, a traditional blended flour and a nutrient-dense spread (a "foodlet") in rural Chad. The limitations of this approach and the need to interpret its findings carefully in relation to field observations are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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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