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Research Project: Impact of Maternal Influence and Early Dietary Factors on Child Growth, Development, and Metabolic Health

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Title: Entrepreneur-led food fortification: A complementary approach for nutritious diets in developing countries

item TAYLOR, JOHN - University Of Pretoria
item FERRUZZI, MARIO - University Arkansas For Medical Sciences (UAMS)
item NDIAYE, CHEIKH - Institut De Technologie Agroalimentaire
item TRAORE, DJIBRIL - Institut De Technologie Agroalimentaire
item MUGALAVAI, VIOLET - University Of Eldoret
item DE GROOTE, HUGO - International Maize & Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
item O'BRIEN, CHERYL - San Diego State University
item RENDELL, TIMOTHY - Purdue University
item HAMAKER, BRUCE - Purdue University

Submitted to: Global Food Security Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2023
Publication Date: 2/20/2023
Citation: Taylor, J., Ferruzzi, M., Ndiaye, C., Traore, D., Mugalavai, V., De Groote, H., O'Brien, C., Rendell, T., Hamaker, B. 2023. Entrepreneur-led food fortification: A complementary approach for nutritious diets in developing countries. Global Food Security Journal. 36:100674.

Interpretive Summary: The aim of this perspective article is to demonstrate the potential of small-scale food processing entrepreneur in resource-poor local communities to significantly impact on the nutrition and economic well-being of the communities. We use the term Entrepreneur-led Food Fortification (ElFF) to describe this concept, where ElFF is defined as: A system driven and managed by local or regional small- and micro-food processing entrepreneurs who produce and market affordable, nutritious and consumer-desirable locally produced food staples fortified with nutrient-dense food ingredients. This article draws on our experiences in food and nutritional research identifying micronutrient-dense, plant-based ingredients to fortify grain-product-based naturally and the experience of our consortium of food R&D organizations from the USA and Africa, which partners with small- and micro-food processors in the Sahel and East Africa regions. Learnings regarding the adoption of these technologies and their impact are also useful as we work to developing more resilient food systems in rural and urban food deserts in the US.

Technical Abstract: Small and micro food enterprises are critical implementation partners for fortification strategies that address the widespread micronutrient deficiencies in low-income countries. This paper describes the concept and practice of Entrepreneur-led Food Fortification (ElFF). It draws on the experience of a consortium of US and African food and nutrition R&D organizations, partnering with African small-scale food processors. ElFF can address major challenges faced by such enterprises by providing convincing value propositions, product distribution and marketing, and achieving business scale and nutritional impact. Through the example of entrepreneur-led production of food-to-food fortified grain-based instant porridge flour, we illustrate a framework for successful implementation of ElFF both in local markets and potential links to government nutrition strategies to address micronutrient deficiencies.