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NUTRITION

CSIR-CFTRI teams up with Karnataka govt, JSW to highlight malnutrition
Wednesday, 15 March, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has joined hands with the governmentof Karnataka and JSW to createa common platformto highlight Malnutrition – Challenges, success stories and the way forward through various innovative approaches. The condition is prevalent across the country.

Academicians and experts from Mysore Medical College, Mysuru, the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad and St John’s Research Centre, Bengaluru, shared their experiences.

Reliance Foundation, Scania CSR and Nestle India, who are actively involved in combating malnutrition as part of their corporate social responsibility, UNICEF and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from Mumbai and Chennai sharedtheir challenges and success stories.

Around 100 participants attendedthe conference, which comprised fourtechnical sessions, poster sessions and a panel discussion culminating in recommendations for the way forward.

Specifically, CFTRI carried out an intervention programme in Nanjangud taluk, Mysuru district, to address the persistent problem of malnutrition in the country.

It covered250 children from12 anganwadis in Hegaddahalli, Ramapura, Chamalapurada Hundi and Kalahalli in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare Development, Governmentof Karnataka.

A package of seven products, containing the required nutrients, was providedto meetthedeficiencies prevalent among pre-school children aged between three and five.

“Wehavebeenformulating innovative products for more than six decades. Earlier we developed several nutritious foods to successfully cater to the needs of undernourished children,” said Ram Rajasekharan, director, CSIR-CFTRI.

“Recent findings on the high prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in addition to protein-energy malnutrition motivated usto carry out an intervention programme in Nanjangud taluk to address the persistent problem of malnutrition in the country,” he added.

Rice-milk mix and energy food, with 15 per cent protein, in the form of powders, Nutri sprinkle, a micronutrient mix, a high-protein rusk, a fortified mango bar, a sesame-based nutritious supplement and spirulina chikki were distributed as complementary to the food served in the anganwadis, and the Ksheera Bhagya scheme.

“The intervention has been carried out for a period of six months after a survey of the anthropometric indices, haemoglobin, ferritin and retinol levels. The post-intervention analysis of the blood profile and nutritional indices are underway,” he added.

Further, the instituteis also taking a grassroot approach to combat malnutrition by introducing nutrition-rich superfoods like chia and quinoa to Indian farmers.

“Besides giving the agrotechnology and seeds free of cost to the farmers, we also helped them form a cooperative society. The institute is also creating awareness among the general public about the health benefits of these superfoods, apart from churning out Indian recipes incorporating these foreign grains,” saidRajasekharan.
 
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