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Influence of cold on RUTF quality

This question was posted the Prevention and treatment of severe acute malnutrition forum area and has 7 replies. You can also reply via email – be sure to leave the subject unchanged.

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Anonymous 1354

Normal user

28 Nov 2012, 10:44

Dear colleagues,

I am currently working in a CMAM programme in Nepal and the difference of temperature between day and night has caused us some slight troubles. Although the sachets are stored in metal box inside health centers, due to the cold, the RUTF (PPN) paste tends to become harder and is thus difficult to consume, or considered as damaged.

I would like to know if the change of temperature have a significant influence on the nutritional quality of the RUTF?
I would also be interested in sharing experiences on how to avoid it with colleagues working in similar conditions (cold environment or with high temperature variation).

By advance, thank you very much

Best regards

André BRIEND

Frequent user

28 Nov 2012, 17:20

RUTF have a high fat content (about 35%). To be tasty, fat products should be soft at the mouth temperature, around 35 degrees C. This applies to RUTF but also to chocolate or any other fat food. An optimal melting point is obtained by mixing in these fat products different fatty acids with different chain lengths and different degrees of saturation. A side effect is that these products become solid a low temperature. I don’t see how this could have an effect on their nutritional value. Chemical reactions which take place in RUTF during storage and limit its storage life are decreased at low temperatures, so having RUTF stored in a cold place is rather a good thing.

To improve acceptability, you may need to warm slightly the sachets before consumption.

Tanya Khara Latimore

nutrition consultant

Normal user

30 Nov 2012, 12:59

From ENN's media hub: http://www.ennonline.net/mediahub/coordinationmultisectoriellesenegal

Thank you Youssouf Ambarka for this article. But in your post you have not really developed or at least you have obscured the involvement of a strategic partner who has put its experience of 32 years presence in Senegal at the service of the fight against malnutrition in the regions of Kédougou And Kolda. This is World Vision Senegal, which was really involved in this project from the beginning ... I say it because I spent a short time in this structure and I could see the quality of the " Innovative approach through the integration of health interventions, food security and institutional strengthening that it proposed for PINKK ..... With this partner It is likely that the results will be reached ..... It would be better to count on them rather than the governmental structures, that's my opinion ....

Alison Fleet

Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF

Normal user

30 Nov 2012, 13:58

Hi there,
The nutritional value of the product will theoretically benefit from being in a cold environment -rather than a hot environment. Vitamins such as vitmain A, C, B1, and to a lesser extent vitamin B6 and B12 and also the omega 3 oils are most succeptible to heat rather than cold. Most nutrient losses described in the literature in relation to feezing point back to the heat processing (eg blanching) right before freezing as the main reason for nutrient degridation.

I hope this helps

Junaid Chohan

Nutritionist / Concern Worldwide

Normal user

7 Dec 2012, 13:45

Hi Everbody

Nice query and interesting answers.

i am working in South Sudan where temperature during day time is minimum of 30-35 degree celsius which is going to be high (above 40 degree celsius) in the month of March & April.

Can somebody tell that what is the effect of this hot temperature on the quality of RUTF.

Regards

Alison Fleet

Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF

Normal user

12 Dec 2012, 18:25

Good day Joanad,
the effect of temperatures over 40 degrees can predictably mean degredation of the nutritional value of the product. This will be compounded if the product is towards the end of its shelf life. I understand that in field it is not always easy to control temperatures for storage - so in these instances attention to correct rotation of stock is really important. You can do your own organoleptic testing of the product - by tasting a sample yourself. If the product tastes rancid, or has coloured specs in it - then it has started to oxydise. On the plus side, we have recently tested some out of date products for their vitamin content (after the country office did the organoleptic test) from Cameroon and the results for the heat sensitive nutrients were all acceptable.

Junaid Chohan

Nutritionist / Concern Worldwide

Normal user

13 Dec 2012, 13:14

Hello members, I want to benefit from your experience by pointing out the action (s) required to reduce the mortality of severe acute malnutrition with complications at the hospital care centers. Thank you

Tariq Khan

Normal user

20 Dec 2012, 04:05

Well, to us it is not a big problem, despite of working in very harsh weather of Kabul Afghanistan, where the temperature in summer goes upto 35 celsius and -10 celsius in winter. But have never had a problem of storage due to temperature. The main reason behind this is: the low water and soluble fat contents of RUTF. If there is any problem due to temperature in your areas, better perform an organoleptic test randomly from several cartons and do check the manufacturing date of the product, which is important in considering the deterioration of RUTF and this should be even performed while recieving supply of RUTF.
Hope this answers your question.

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