Which of the following regarding Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) is/are correct?
a It has a good shelf life, and does not spoil easily even after opening
b It is safe to use without refrigeration at household level
c Both (a) and (b)
d Neither (a) nor (b)
They are energy dense, micronutrient enhanced pastes used in therapeutic feeding.
These soft foods are a homogenous mix of lipid rich foods, with a nutritional profile similar to the World Health Organization-recommended therapeutic milk formula used for inpatient therapeutic feeding programmes.
Typical primary ingredients for RUTF include peanuts, oil, sugar, milk powder and vitamin and mineral supplements.
For several reasons, RUTF is essential for the community-based management of children who are suffering from uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition and who retain an appetite.
· First, it provides all the nutrients required for recovery.
· Second, it has a good shelf life, and does not spoil easily even after opening.
· Third, since RUTF is not water based, the risk of bacterial growth is very limited, and consequently it is safe to use without refrigeration at household level.
· Fourth, it is liked by children, safe and easy to use without close medical supervision.
· Finally, it can be used in combination with breastfeeding and other best practices for infant and young child feeding.