Nutrient Concentrate (LNC) has many advantages. The main disadvantage
is making a small quantity as the concentrate tends to get lost in
the process - in the whey. Depending on the type of dark green leafy
vegetable, the best quantity to start with as a trial on getting to
know the process is 1Kilo.
Trials over 5
years carried out by New Hope have shown that when made in the community,
a teaspoon per child taken 3 times a week, reduced 'night blindness'
caused by vitamin A deficiency by 96% minimum.
The quantity that
is often quoted in referring to the nutrient value is 20 grams. That
has an incredible amount of B-carotene. New Hope carried out child
eye examinations aimed at detecting early signs of night blindness
(cheesy or foam patches or white blobs on conjunctiva). Those detected
with any signs were given 20 grams alternate days over 10 days and
98% of all signs totally cleared up in 45 days. Very severe, old 'stains'
often do not go away.
New Hope did weight
for age and red blood cell counts of target children on and off for
7 years in many parts of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh State in India.
The teaspoon of LNC 3 times weekly for 1 year showed better than 30%
growth gain when compared to non LNC, same diet, children in the same,
or adjoining, areas. Over 2 years the weight and height gain and overall
dental records, plus HB levels, if deworming was included on a quarterly
basis (using either mebendazole or natural Neem oil drops), the average
gain was in the range 29%-45% with 68% having a gain above 37%.
There are certainly
'tricks in introducing LNC into children's diets. New Hope's experience
is that the children are reasonably agreeable to small amounts being
mixed in with their curries or rice, or mixed with rice and a sweetener.
The adults were more critical of the taste and their attitude can
influence the children. Strong pre- introduction discussion groups
need to be considered to explain the overall health gains for the
children. Adults also need to learn that there is no waste in the
process. The fibre left over from the extraction process is exactly
what most adults need. In a poverty line situation, adding onion and
a little salt and frying the fibre with a small amount of oil and
water can be an influence for adults to become involved.