Sprinkles Plus-a new hope for malnourished children

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Mumbai, Nov 15 (UNI) Heinz India, the Indian affiliate of HJ Heinz USA, in partnership with the Maharashtra Government, Hellen Keller International and KEM Hospital, Pune announced the launch of a global Heinz Micronutrient campaign to address the needs of millions of children suffering from malnutrition.

The campaign supports the distribution of millions of single serve packets containing microencapsulated nutrient (vitamins and minerals) powder, 'Sprinkles Plus' that can be easily mixed with any semi-solid and solid foods, including staples such as rice, maize, pulses or pureed fruits and vegetables.

'Sprinkles Plus' is a vitamin and mineral supplement for children, aged between six months to six years, which is easily sprinkled onto their regular foods. It can be used by mothers to fortify foods prepared at home. Along with the provision of daily prepared food, regular use of 'Sprinkles Plus' can help promote optimal growth and development, improve a child's immunity, increase a child's appetite for food and prevent anemia and other illnesses related to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The nutrient composition of Sprinkles Plus has been approved by UNICEF.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Heinz India HR and Corporate Affairs Director V Mohan said the first phase of implementation of the campaign would start with children in small towns and villages around Pune like Junnar, Vadu, Karjat and Indapur. The first phase will cover around 20,000 children.

He said that micronutrient supplementation had been proved to be a cognitive function and reduces the risk of mortality in at-risk populations.

Compliance with traditional methods of delivering these nutrients, such as liquid drops is low because they taste unpleasant and may have side effects. ''The 'Heinz Micronutrient' campaign addresses this problem through its use of a unique microenscapsulated nutrient powder (Sprinkes Plus) that does not have the taste of food,'' he added.

Inaugurating the campaign, Women and Child Development Minister Harshvardhan Patil said that one of the main objectives of the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme was to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition among children. ''The campaign aims at benefiting over six million children in India and we hope that we will be able to take this programme on a national level,'' he added.

Mr Mohan said that Heinz had earmarked Rs 30 crore for the campaign and hoped to reach one crore children globally.


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