To take action on this urgent need for new food innovations to meet the needs of the world's children, Edesia is committing to expand its current facility to achieve increased cost efficiencies and significantly higher volumes to reach 230% more malnourished children each year. As part of this expansion, Edesia commits to plan and build the 'Edesia Innovation Center.' This Center, the first of its kind in the United States, will include an R&D Laboratory and R&D Pilot Plant, and utilize testing capacities inside the plant's new state-of-the-art Quality Laboratory.
The R&D Laboratory will house new equipment to pilot test new product formulations, and conduct stability studies and laboratory analysis. The R&D Pilot Plant will allow for small-scale production of new products, research products, and new formulations. The Quality Laboratory will provide additional microbiological testing and chemical testing abilities.
The Edesia Innovation Center is expected to focus mainly on ready-to-use foods that are peanut/nut, soy, and dairy based fat spreads in the first three years, and expand into new product types. It will be a research site that offers agencies, such as the World Food Programme, UNICEF, and/or USAID, the ability to test new product specifications or variations prior to large-scale procurement. The Edesia Innovation Center will also allow for small-scale production for acceptability testing and clinical trials of new product concepts for research studies with leading Universities.
While in the current factory, Edesia commits to planning the Edesia Innovation Center. As Edesia's new facility opens, Edesia will begin to staff the Innovation Center with nutritionists, food technologists, quality and lab technicians, and marketing and branding specialists. In addition to these technical staff, Edesia will also hire a business analyst to look at moving the use of ready-to-use foods from exclusively humanitarian to the sale in world markets.
Q3 2014: Announce Edesia's commitment to create the first Ready-to-Use Food Innovation Center in the United States and initiate a call for partners in Academia, Private Sector, and NGO communities.
Q4 2014: Design the Innovation Center facilities: R&D Laboratory, R&D Pilot Plant, and Quality Laboratory. Develop and design R&D Pilot Plant equipment systems.
Q1 2015: Create R&D Department and hire Food Technologist. Optimize formulations of RUTF, RUSF by investigating oil, dairy, and other raw materials changes. Build partnerships. Coordinate feedback sessions with target organizations that procure RUFs (USAID, USDA, UNICEF, WFP).
Q2-Q3 2015: Develop prototypes for social marketing projects in Latin America. Develop prototypes for U.S. market (such as a product for food banks, school backpack programs, failure to thrive clinics, or high-end product to help fundraise for humanitarian products).
Q4 2015: Physically build R&D Laboratory and Quality Laboratory.
Q1 2016: R&D Laboratory and Quality Laboratory fully operational. Refine prototypes for new products.
Q2 2016: Physically build R&D Pilot Plant. Hire for business development and marketing team.
Q3-Q4 2016: Innovation Center functional at all levels.
Childhood malnutrition, a fundamental challenge to a peaceful and stable world, is a crisis affecting all of us that demands innovative solutions. Over one billion people worldwide are underfed and malnourished, due in large part to endemic poverty and subsequent lack of access to diverse, nutritious food choices. Of particular concern are malnourished children under the age of five, who, if they manage to survive, are almost always doomed to a life of poor health and low productivity, fueling an endless poverty cycle for his or her family and community.
The scale of this problem is massive and far-reaching. According to UNICEF, there are at least 51 million children in our world under the age of five who are suffering from acute malnutrition, a condition directly responsible for at least 1 million young children dying unnecessarily each year; 17 million of these children have severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and require treatment with specialized foods, such as ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF); while the remainder have moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and would benefit from treatment with ready-to-use supplementary foods or other nutritionally enhanced foods. Additionally, UNICEF reports that there are 171 million children worldwide who are chronically undernourished, or stunted, characterized by a child's height being significantly less than healthy children of the same age.
Due to the cost of current ready-to-use food products, low acceptability of peanut-based products in Asian populations, and supply-chain inefficiencies, there is an urgent need for new innovations that better meet the needs of the world's children, as only a small fraction of them are being reached currently due to inadequate levels of funding and limited programming.
Edesia is building an Innovation Center, the first of its kind in the United States, to research and optimize the use of peanut-based, ready-to-use therapeutic and supplementary foods to combat malnutrition locally and globally. Edesia seeks partners that can help move this groundbreaking project to completion, either through major multi-year philanthropic commitments or strategic partnerships with laboratories, universities, and other organizations working in the field of nutrition science.