Development and acceptability of locally made fish-based, ready-to-use products for the prevention and treatment of malnutrition in Cambodia

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Sanne Sigh, Nanna Roos, Daream Sok, Bindi Borg, Chhoun Chamnan, Arnaud Laillou, Marjoleine Amma Dijkhuizen, Frank T Wieringa

Background: Cambodia has a high prevalence of moderate acute malnutrition and severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The SAM treatment requires ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs), whereas ready-to-use supplementary foods (RUSFs) are used for prevention of acute malnutrition. Three locally produced fish-based products were developed: an RUTF paste (NumTrey-Paste) for treatment and 2 wafer versions, one for prevention (NumTrey-RUSF) and one for treatment (NumTrey-RUTF).

Objective: To assess the acceptability of NumTrey-Paste and NumTrey-RUSF in comparison to a standard biscuit product (BP-100) used for the treatment of SAM.

Methods: Acceptability of NumTrey-RUSF and NumTrey-Paste was tested in a nonblinded crossover taste trial among children (n = 52), aged ≥ 6 months to 18 years, and their caregivers. Eight organoleptic qualities were assessed on a 5-point hedonic scale, as well as a ranking test. A score of 1 to 3 was categorized as acceptable. The acceptability of NumTrey-RUTF was assessed using the caregivers' perception during an SAM treatment intervention.

Results: Taste trial: The proportion of children categorizing products as overall acceptable was lowest for NumTrey-Paste compared to for BP-100 and NumTrey-RUSF (21% vs 43% [BP-100] and 36% [NumTrey-RUSF]). No difference was found in the proportion of children who ranked BP-100 or NumTrey-RUSF as "liked most" ( P > .05). Acceptability of NumTrey-RUSF ranked highest in appearance and taste (caregiver), whereas acceptability of NumTrey-Paste was ranked lowest in appearance and smell among the products. Intervention trial: The acceptability of NumTrey-RUTF increased from 72% to 86%.

Conclusions: The overall acceptability was ranked lowest for a pure paste product. However, filling the paste into a wafer made the product more acceptable.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)420-434
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • The Faculty of Science - Locally produced foods, Fish, Ready-to-use foods, Acute malnutrition, Acceptability, Cambodia

ID: 201039928