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Contribution of a novel high-density micronutrient condiment (HDMC) to nutrient adequacy of home-prepared Guatemalan dishes

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Background. The diet of low-income Guatemalan populations is mostly plant-based, deficient in some vitamins and minerals, and rich in antinutritional compounds that reduce the bioavailability of several micronutrients.

Objective. To describe the manner in which low-income Guatemalan women in rural and urban settings would prepare dishes for main meals using a high-density multimicronutrient condiment (HDMC) and to compare the nutrient density and contribution to the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of the dishes with and without added HDMC.

Methods. A sample of 30 women, 15 each from rural and urban households, were enrolled. The women were given 20 g of the HDMC and asked to prepare a dish at home, serve it to their families at a time of their own choosing, record the recipe and the amount of condiment added, and report these facts to an interviewer on the following day. The nutrient content of each dish was calculated from food-composition table values for raw, whole ingredients and the package label values for the HDMC.

Results. For all dishes combined, the HDMC provided on average 78% of the total vitamins. The proportion of the total vitamins provided by the HDMC varied greatly among different dishes. Typically a single serving of a dish without added HDMC provided less than half of the RDA (vitamin B12 and folate) for children and adult women. The midday meal is the most important meal of the day and should provide at least half of the RDA of all essential nutrients. With the HDMC added, the dishes on average provided 2 to 10 times the RDA for nutrients such as vitamins B6 and C and niacin in the reference children, and just satisfied the RDA intake for corresponding nutrients in adult women.

Conclusions. The proportion of the RDAs of micronutrients provided by this novel, micronutrient-rich condiment varies over a wide range, depending on idiosyncrasies of recipe ingredients, amounts of condiment added, individuals served, and age- and physiology-dependent requirements. HDMCs could provide an efficient way to deliver essential micronutrients to vulnerable populations.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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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