Herring milt becomes infant porridge
Nofima Ingrediens has developed a power product containing herring milt, which is ready for testing at Haukeland Hospital in Bergen. In the future, the powder can contribute to improving the health of malnourished children in Africa.
The power contains white maize and herring milt. When hot water is added, it becomes infant porridge.
White maize has low energy level
Processed white maize is used as infant food in many developing countries. The energy in this product is often too low to cover the child’s energy requirements. In this project, the maize powder has gone through a process that produces a higher energy level in the porridge.
"The lactic acid bacterium that has been used has a positive effect on the flavour, consistency and shelf life," says Senior Scientist Halvor Nygaard.
"Adding the herring milt powder will increase the energy value of traditional infant food. The porridge tastes good and contains many nutrients that malnourished children do not receive in their daily diets, such as Omega 3, important proteins, vitamins and natural antioxidants," says Scientist Victoria Bohne.
"The pure herring milt powder has good binding properties and a high nutritional value, and could also be used in products for human consumption generally," says Chemical Engineer Øistein Høstmark. "From a process technology perspective, it has been a challenge to produce powder from herring milt in a cost-effective manner, but this has now been resolved."
This project was led by Senior Scientist Jan Pettersen, who died recently.
Distributing porridge in Ghana
The product will later be tested in the African nation of Ghana. Several aid organisations will distribute the porridge to mothers of malnourished infants.
It is particularly important that the mothers accept the infant porridge, as they are the ones who will serve it. The flavour in Africa and Norway is different. Jan Pettersen and his scientific colleagues have spent considerable time making the porridge similar to that the infant would otherwise eat.
Lots of good nutrients
Herring milt is an ideal additive for food in developing countries, as it contains abundant amounts of many of the nutrients missing from the local food. This raw material from herring is not exploited today. English coalminers previously consumed products based on herring milt to stay healthy. Such products were also sold in Norway.
This is a collaborative project between Nofima Ingrediens, the University of Bergen and NutriMarine Life Science, and is financed by the Norwegian Fishermen’s Sales Organisation for Pelagic Fish.