Utilizing Egg Protein in Non-Dairy Creamers to Fight Malnutrition

Utilizing Egg Protein in Non-Dairy Creamers to Fight Malnutrition

Philippines
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Many Filipino women struggle to afford nutritious formula for their babies and often settle for cheap, low protein, non-dairy creamers as substitutes for milk. By developing an affordable protein such as dried egg in the creamers, these mothers can change their children’s future by providing them with proper nutrition.

About You
Organization:
USA Poultry & Egg Export Council
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Section 1: About You
First Name

Jennifer

Last Name

Geck

Country

, GA

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

Organization Name

USA Poultry & Egg Export Council

Organization Phone

7704130006

Organization Address

2300 West Park Place Blvd, Ste 100, Stone Mountain, GA 30087

Organization Country

, GA

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, QZN

Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

Until now, no research has been undertaken to determine how a dried egg product, which is one of the most affordable sources of protein in the world, could be utilized in improving the nutritious content of widely consumed infant formulas in the developing world.
Dried egg albumin contains 86% protein with high levels of limiting amino acids such as methionine, cysteine and lysine. Dried egg yolk contains about 30% protein and is also an excellent dietary source for choline which is crucial in brain development and aids in liver function and cancer prevention. It contains high levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) because of its high phospholipids content. Infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems.
Many poverty-stricken Filipino mothers feed their babies a non-dairy coffee creamer as a substitute for breast milk because they cannot produce enough due to their poor health. In addition, the prices of infant milk formula are too expensive for them. Sadly, feeding the less nutritious, non-dairy coffee creamers to infants causes more severe malnutrition problems because of the low protein value of creamers which have only about 2% milk protein.
By improving the nutritional levels of women and infants over time through their main source of food, more babies will be born healthy and more generations will be less affected by malnutrition.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

As one of the poorest countries in Asia, 49% of Filipinos rate themselves as food-poor, while 26% considered themselves in the borderline, according to the survey of Social Weather Stations in 2008. In other words, 75% of Filipinos are currently struggling with poverty and hunger.
Due to poverty, malnutrition is one of the biggest social problems in the Philippines, and many Filipinos, especially children, suffer from one or more forms of malnutrition. The four major deficiency disorders among Filipino children are Protein-Energy Malnutrition (PEM), Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD), Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA), and Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD). Because of poverty, poor mothers provide their infants with non-dairy creamers as milk substitutes since infant formulas are much more expensive. However, the use of non-dairy creamers does not provide the essential nutrients which are very much needed for the growth and development of infants, thus, resulting in poor nutrition.
The nutrition country profiles of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicate that about 4 million (31.8%) of the preschool population, 3 million (19.8%) of adolescents and 5 million (13.2%) of adults including older persons in Philippines are found to be underweight and chronically energy deficient (FAO, 2001). Also, 8.2% of 6 month to 5-year-old Filipino children and 7.1% of pregnant women had vitamin A deficiency. Infants (56.6%), pregnant women (50.7%), lactating women (45.7%) and male older persons (49.1%) had iron deficiency anemia, and 6 to 12 years old children (35.8%) suffer from moderate and severe iodine deficiency disorders (FAO, 2001).
If egg albumin and /or yolk powder could be utilized in non-dairy creamers as high source of proteins and other nutrients, the figures of malnutrition shown above will be greatly reduced. Since this is a less expensive way of obtaining the essential nutrients needed for the normal growth and development of infants, a forceful impact will be affected upon the ghastly figures of malnutrition.

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

This innovation seeks to address malnutrition and poverty, two problems that go hand-in-hand in the Philippines. As previously stated, because of poverty, lactating mothers who cannot provide sufficient breast milk for their infants opt to use non-dairy creamers as milk substitutes since infant formulas are very impractical for them due to cost. But non-dairy creamers are not a good source of protein; thus, the various nutrients derived from either breast milk or infant formulas are not provided for.

With the application of egg white and/or yolk in non-dairy creamers, the issue of malnutrition is addressed because both are rich sources of proteins and nutrients such as choline and omega 3 fatty acids which are indispensable in the growth of infants and children. Not only will this non-dairy creamer be nutrient-rich but also easily affordable. Studying such an alternate protein source is an economical way to combat the problem of different nutrient deficiencies rampant in the Philippines.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. What might prevent that success?

The project consists of two phases of research. The first phase which is currently underway in the U.S. tests the effect of dried egg (albumin and/or yolk and/or blends) on the nutrient and protein content of creamers versus the non-dairy creamer and determines the shelf life and flavor acceptability of the creamers containing eggs. Because the main objective of this work is improving the nutrients content of the non-dairy creamers that are used in place of infant milk formulas, the formulas are prepared to have similar nutrients content to breast milk.
The second phase of the research, which will begin in the Philippines after the prototype is developed, consists of product tests and market entry strategies. Actual numbers of infants and children who are being fed with non-dairy creamers as milk substitutes and those who suffer malnutrition from consuming such non-dairy creamers will be gathered. Experiments will also be conducted on sample populations, specifically of infants and growing children. Favorable results will show that after consuming the product over a period of time that there is a significant decrease in malnutrition as evidenced by an increase in weight of those who are underweight.
The only issue that could prevent success of this innovation would be if the cost of the egg-based protein is significantly more expensive than the current non-dairy creamer. Because of poverty in the market, the egg-based protein replacement must be affordable.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

By the end of the first phase of the project which is set to be completed in one year, our organization expects to have a shelf-stable, dried egg product for the creamer that is at least 15% more nutritious than the current product on the market in the Philippines, costs at least the same to produce, and has a shelf-life of at least 6 months without refrigeration.
By the end of the second phase of the project which is set to be completed in two to three years, it is expected that target population will show a 10% year-on-year improvement in weight or height, and a reduction in diseases related to Vitamin A and iron deficiencies. It is also expected that each year thereafter that there will be an increase in the awareness on the use of this innovative, non-dairy creamer among mothers.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

This innovative product can be included in the government feeding programs for schools and in depressed communities as a milk substitute, coffee creamer and other creamer applications.

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your innovation

The NGOs can be used as a medium for launching this innovative non-dairy creamer in the feeding programs.

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

As mentioned previously, this initiative consists of two research components. The first phase of the research is being funded by the Indiana Soybean Alliance. The total amount of funding that was needed to conduct the research has been provided in the amount of $60,000.
The initial funding for the second phase of the research would be provided by Quench Plus Corporation in the Philippines. The Corporation is currently looking for other partners that would be able to help fund the entirety of the initial investment needed to start-up the project.
A key initiative for the success of the project would be educating the masses on the benefits of an egg-based creamer solution. Broadcast media is the most cost effective tool to generate immediate mass awareness for the nutritional benefits of an egg protein enriched creamer. Radio media, in particular, has the highest penetration among socio economic class DE households and is the ideal platform for educational campaigns due to frequency and reach.
In tandem with the educational media campaign, trial generation in the form of mass consumer sampling will be necessary. Product trial and face-to-face dialogues by trained personnel with the target consumer reinforces and expands the nutritional benefits message communicated in media.
After these initial campaigns, the project would be funded through the sale of these creamers, albeit at a minimal income, to the relevant market.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Three years ago I had the incredible opportunity to visit the Philippines through my organization. I was immediately drawn to the warmth and happiness of the people. I did not see one person who did not have a smile on their face. Honestly, I could not believe how these people could smile considering how great their everyday struggles were compared to mine. As an American, I often take many things for granted, especially being able to afford nutritious food and being able to easily get adequate protein.
Through my work with the egg industry and our international staff, I have seen various ways egg products can be incorporated into local countries’ food applications. When my colleague in the Philippines presented the idea of adding an egg-based protein source to a non-dairy coffee creamer to help the low income, I immediately knew I had to bring this idea into fruition and get the support needed from the egg industry.
This kind of innovation truly can change many lives and can also become a benchmark for other countries.

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

Mr. Jess Montemayor, President of Quench Plus Corporation in the Philippines, conceived the idea in 2009 and brought it to the attention of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

Montemayor was the Chief Finance Officer at the Ramcar Group of Companies, one of the biggest and the most fully integrated battery manufacturer in Southeast Asia.

He spearheaded the acquisition of then struggling KFC and Mister Donut Philippine franchises, paving the way for the profitable venture of the Ramcar Group into the fast-food business. He became President of both KFC and Mister Donut and led the turnaround of both businesses. Under his guidance, KFC grew from 26 stores in 1994 to 166 in 2008, and Mr. Donut grew from 300 stores in 1995 to 1,733 in 2008.

In 2009, Montemayor became the President of Quench Plus Corporation, an organization made up of committed individuals from several multinational companies tasked with entering the local fast-moving consumer goods industry. However, he did not only want to make it a viable business, he also wanted to answer a social call.

In keeping with his Jesuit upbringing and education, he saw a great opportunity to help poor Filipinos by providing them nutritionally enhanced and affordable products. Since the company's target market for its products are the lower income class, he realized that he had an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these people by providing them nutritious products which none of the current suppliers of these products are delivering.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another source, please provide the information

The Foundation Center

ICRW
Does your project address any of the following barriers to women’s technology access and use?

Economic or institutional constraints.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how.

Prevalent poverty involving mothers with young children is addressed in the project.

Does your project involve women in one or more of the following stages of the technology lifecycle? Identification of the problem the technology will solve:

Market research, Technology introduction.

If you checked any of the boxes above, please explain how you will ensure women’s involvement in each relevant phase of the technology lifecycle.

The target population consists of mothers with young children.

If women are a focus of your project, how did this focus evolve?

The project focused on women from its conception..

Which type of women will your project reach directly?

Low income.

In what ways does your project team/leadership involve women?

The core project team includes women from developing countries..

Has your organization formed any new partnerships in response to this challenge? If so, with what type/s of organization/s?

For-profit.

Has your project leadership had prior experience with the following?

Working on innovation.