WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2010 The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded nearly $3.8 million to develop healthier food products for humanitarian assistance programs.
"The United States is a major supplier of food aid, feeding millions of people around the world who are suffering during emergency situations," said Roger Beachy, director of USDA's National Institution of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). "These projects will improve the nutritional quality of food aid products these people depend on for survival."
NIFA's Food Aid Nutrition Enhancement Program (FANEP) supports the development and field testing of new ready-to-use foods, fortified blended foods, high-energy foods, micronutrient powders or other food products designed to improve the nutritional delivery and functional form of humanitarian food assistance. Projects funded by FANEP may also field test existing food products that have not yet been approved for use in food aid programs.
Fiscal Year 2010 awards were made to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and international non-profit PATH. JHU received $2,729,000 to introduce and test three specially formulated foods for children ages 6-24 months in Bangladesh, where childhood under-nutrition is especially prevalent. PATH received $1 million to test their product Ultra Rice in Burundi. Ultra Rice is a rice fortification technology that has been shown to affordably increase micronutrients within manufactured rice.