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Production of Value-added and Wholesome Poultry and Meat Products for Incorporation into the Diets of Haitian Children


The objectives of this research are to: <OL> <LI> determine the most economical procedure for production of protein food products<LI> determine resources and ingredients readily available to the Haitian population for utilization in these food products<LI> develop education programs that will provide food safety, food science and technology training for the Haitian educators <LI> develop a long term relationship with Haiti that will involve education and hands on experience for their students, as well as students at University of Florida.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Jeremie, Haiti is comprised of a population of approximately 95,100 people. Approximately 30% of the population is children and approximately 90% of them suffer from malnutrition. Due to poor economic conditions and lack of available nutritious food, there is an urgent need to identify and utilize protein sources in an effort to provide nutritious food for the Haitian children. In addition to the need for a protein source, there is also the need for shelf stable products that require no refrigeration. There is also a need to insure that the foods supplied are good sources of iron, because approximately 80% of the children are anemic. The utilization of under utilized poultry, red meat and fish protein in undeveloped countries such as Haiti will provide an excellent protein source in the Haitian diet. A combination of animal and plant protein with other approved food ingredients will provide the necessary protein and iron needed in the diets.<P>APPROACH: University of Florida and Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) researchers and extension agents will work to achieve the stated objectives. The researchers will work in an established and previously organized program administered by HHF in Jeremie, Haiti. The project work will be divided into three phases. Phase One will involve the development and evaluation of a shelf stable turkey sausage product that requires no refrigeration. Nutritional and microbiological analyses will be conducted on the product to insure that a nutritious and safe product is being provided. Phase Two will involve continual monitoring of the children for nutritional benefits of the product, and the determination of other protein sources (meat and non-meat), acceptable to the Haitian community, that can be included in product systems to enhance the children's diets. Products containing plant protein such as soy and other protein sources indigenous to Haiti will also be investigated. Food products that will supply iron and zinc will also be sought for incorporation into the children's diet. Phase Three will involve continual monitoring of the children to determine the benefits of the products in their diets, training of Haitian students and personnel in food product development and food safety. In an effort to educate our students at the University of Florida, projects will be organized to include them (students) in lecture and development of the products. The knowledge gained in this study will be applied to other countries with needs similar to those of Haiti.

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