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Friday, October 16, 2020

Flour Mills boss endorses Cognito Micronutrient powder - NaijaAgroNet ... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology


Affirming the significance of micronutrients in human nutrition, the managing director of Flour Mills of Nigeria plc Dr Paul Gbededo has commended Micronutrient Laboratories Limited for the introduction of Cognito Micronutrient Powder as a contribution to fighting the threat of infant malnutrition in Nigeria, reports 

Gbededo spoke on Wednesday 14 October as he unveiled the new micronutrient powder formulation on the sidelines of the 44th annual conference of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Dr Gbadedo was the keynote speaker at the conference. He observed that Nigeria needs to pay closer attention to nutrition. “It is true that we have carbohydrates, protein, fats, but micronutrients are very critical in avoiding malnutrition and malnourishment, especially in the younger ones.” 

The president of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology Mr Toye Emmanuel stood by Dr Gbededo at the unveiling. 

Micronutrient Laboratoratories Limited stated that Cognito MNP would enhance the nutritional value of food served to children from six months to five years with the addition of Cognito. 

UNICEF states that Nigeria has the second-highest burden of stunted children in the world, with a national prevalence rate of 32 per cent of children under five. An estimated 2 million children in Nigeria suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), but the country reaches only two out of every ten children affected with treatment. 

Besides, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank Group identified three categories of malnutrition. They are stunting, wasting and overweight. 

The Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates, 2020 by the organisations reports that 144 million children under-5 are stunted (too short for their age), 47 million are wasted (too thin for their height) and 38 million children under 5 are overweight. 

Gbadedo commended Micronutrient Laboratories Limited and its Chief Innovation Officer for remaining focused on leading indigenous contribution to science and technology. 

Dr Kenny Acholonu is the Chief Innovation Officer, Micronutrient Laboratories Limited. He averred that Cognito MNP “is a readily available micronutrient powder for optimising the nutritive value of local foods for all malnourished children including those in challenging settings such as conflict areas, IDPs, and poverty-chains.” 

Acholonu said the micronutrient formulation is a direct response to the challenge thrown by international agencies bothered with the high incidence of infant mortality traceable to food deficiencies and the lack of local capacity. 

“Rotary International and UNICEF threw the challenge of local production of micronutrient powder in Nigeria in 2009. Before and since then, Nigeria imports MNP. They approached me based on a recommendation by BASF, the world leader in chemicals. My team and I took up the challenge. We produced Micronutrient powder to global standards.” 

Dr Acholonu asserted, “Cognito will assist Nigeria to tackle the problem of micronutrient deficiency. It will be useful in tackling the challenge of food lacking in vital nutrients that many of our deprived citizens eat and serve their children.” 

Rachael Amadasun, Technical Manager, said Micronutrient Laboratories formulated their product in line with the Federal Government’s prescription. She noted that “Cognito® MNP is a single-serve blend of 15 essential micronutrients (10 vitamins and 5 minerals). It is a 1gram powder used to improve the nutritional content of most staple foods. Users add Cognito to “semi-solid foods and porridges after cooking and at a temperature conducive to feed the child. A sachet of Cognito® MNP is sufficient to provide 100% RNI for children within the age range (6months to 59 months).” 

Home fortification of food is one of the intervention strategies the Federal Government adopted to prevent micronutrient deficiencies in children under-5 years. 

NAFDAC has approved Cognito MNP while the company says it has done initial presentations to the Federal Ministry of Health and some state governments.

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