Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Sibusiso Ready Food (or Plumpy'Nut for adults)

A food supplement, developed in 2005 to help with malnutrition and produced in Malawi, is being bought by South Africa and may be sent to help with relief work in Chad.

The product was conceived by Dr Sooliman in 2004 when he noticed that conventional foods were not overcoming malnutrition. They were eliminating hunger but there was little improvement in health and well-being.

It tastes rather like peanut butter. The ingredients are:

  • groundnuts
  • soya oil
  • sugar
  • vanilla flavouring
  • vitamins
  • minerals

woman shelling groundnuts

Photo from Flickr user Josh Wood. Creative Commons Licence.

The ground nuts from Malawi are of particularly high quality as they have among the world's lowest levels of afflotoxin, high levels of which make peanut consumption a problem. It is providing valuable jobs both in the production of the supplement and in groundnut farming, very welcome in a country as poor as Malawi.

Its advantages are that it is:

  • free of wheat, gluten, lactose, tartrazine, preservatives;
  • high in nutrients and energy;
  • ready to eat and doesn't need any water added;
  • no heating needed;
  • no refrigeration needed;
  • suitable for everyone from the age of 6 months right through to the elderly.

Not only has it been found to be valuable for people suffering from malnutrition, but also for those with HIV/Aids and TB. It requires no preparation, it can be eaten as it is, as a spread, or stirred into a porridge.

Source: Business Report
See also my earlier post on Plumpy'Nut the wonder food.


  1. Wow! It sounds too good to be true. Wonderfuil stuf.

  2. That's really, really wonderful, with something natural that can help out!

    Great post as usual. Another example of how help can be handed in the very best way, with thoughts behind it and not just only to be able to say that they're doing something :-)

  3. Would kill one of my kids - wonder what the incidence of nut allergy is in Africa. My knowledge of botanical history is woeful - are groundnuts/peanuts/cacahu├Ęttes/arachides native to Arica or imports like bananas and palms? Guess we'll both be skewing the search engines soon ;-)

  4. Thanks all. J, did you find links? I found the following:

    From a letter to the BMJ: "Prof Sheikh has produced a timely guide, but perpetuates the peanut avoidance advice in early childhood which may be plain wrong if Prof Gideon Lack's [Professor of Clinical Immunology at Guys & St Thomas'] observations (outlined at a recent lecture I attended in London) of peanut allergy rates in Israel and Sub-saharan Africa are considered. There is no peanut allergy in these places which are linked by there early introduction of peanut based substances in babyhood - in Africa 'peanut' soup is the main source of protein for these kids; in Israel 'bamba' is given to babies because it is wheat free and a tasty weaning food.

    Prof Sheikh's advice perpetuates (Western) cultural myths about nutrition and food allergy. If we wish to see reductions in food (peanut) allergy, the dietary advice to mothers concerning the use of peanut based products in their baby's diets needs urgent review!"

    and from a longer article: "Kirsten Beyer and colleagues from Charite Medical University, Berlin, Germany, noted that in Africa and Asia, peanut allergies are not common despite high consumption during early childhood. They suggest that this may be due to differing cooking methods. Peanuts are usually boiled or fried on these continents, whereas Americans tends to roast the nuts at high temperatures."

  5. Oh, and I believe peanuts were originally from South America.


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