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This game-changing plant-based malnutrition treatment is finally getting the recognition it deserves.

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May 2024: The Power of Nutrition is proud to announce we won the Society for International Development (SID-US) 2024 Innovation Competition. We were recognised for our work in promoting an innovative alternative plant-based recipe for the well-established malnutrition treatment, known as RUTF (ready-to-use-therapeutic food). This plant-based treatment has the potential to be a life-saving game-changer in the treatment of severely malnourished children around the world. We are working closely with VALID Nutrition (who developed the product) to demonstrate why we need to start taking plant-based RUTF seriously.

Plant-based RUTF comes at a time when the world truly needs it the most. Currently 36.4 million children are acutely malnourished. Of these, 9.8 million are considered to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition, the most deadly form of malnutrition and requires urgent treatment. On top of all of this, at this moment only 1 in 3 severely malnourished children are actually receiving treatment.

Plant-based RUTF has the potential to reach more children because it can be made using local ingredients where the need is high. If this wasn’t enough of a reason to adopt the new treatment, local production would have the knock-on effect of boosting local economies. What’s more, being plant-based, the carbon footprint is lower – by as much as 78%. With climate change one of the largest threats to global food and nutrition security, we can no longer ignore climate-smart solutions like these.

Plant-based RUTF has been seen to be as effective in treating severely malnourished children as regular RUTF. Some early research even shows that plant-based RUTF is more effective than regular RUTF in the treatment of anaemia and iron deficiency.

Commenting on the award, Senior Nutrition Specialist Anne Walsh said: 

We’re delighted this new innovation, which promises so much, is finally getting some attention. The product used to treat severely malnourished children hasn’t changed in over two decades – it’s high time it did. We now need financial backing to move this enhanced alternative forward.

Chris Grayson, Head of Corporate Partnerships, who attended the SID-US annual conference, added:

We are incredibly grateful for the platform and attention being given to this innovative product. Our work, however, does not stop here. We’re looking for new ways to use this as a springboard to get vital investment needed in plant-based RUTF so more children can get access to the treatment they desperately need.

For more information, or to discuss partnership opportunities on plant-based RUTF, contact Chris Grayson 


Photo credit: Russell Watkins/DFID