Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Food facts From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 38, Issue 4.
Milk powder may improve quality of emergency food aid, supplementing fortified blended foods (FBFs) with powdered milk, or whey protein, may provide a number of important health benefits, according to a recent review published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Dr Judith Bryans, Director of The Dairy Council, said: “This study is very positive for food aid around the world, as the results suggest that powdered milk and whey protein may help to increase the quality of the protein within FBFs, while also providing many additional benefits”.
The review also found that adding skimmed milk powder to FBFs improved the flavour, making it more palatable, particularly for malnourished children. In addition, it was suggested that adding milk powder or whey protein to FBFs may improve recovery from malnutrition as well as boosting growth and immunity; however, further evidence is required in order to draw firm conclusions.
Although adding milk powder or whey protein to FBFs would increase their cost, the researchers concluded that these supplements would likely provide additional health benefits.
About the Dairy Council
FBFs are used on a very large scale as food aid for millions of people worldwide, especially malnourished individuals and vulnerable groups in low income countries. They are most commonly made from wheat or corn, vegetable oil, soy flour to improve protein quality, and a mix of vitamins and minerals to fortify the blend.
Currently, the main protein source in FBFs is soya, but this review suggests that using less soya may be helpful in reducing the levels of anti-nutrients in blends. Anti-nutrients can prevent or inhibit the digestion and absorption of important nutrients, which could be, particularly detrimental to those who are already malnourished. Therefore, decreasing their presence could improve nutritional intakes.
The Dairy Council is a non-profit making organisation, jointly funded by processors and farmers via Dairy UK and the Milk Development Council. The Dairy Council provides evidence-based nutrition information on the role of dairy foods in a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.