NIGERIA – The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has granted the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) certification to Cognito Instant Micronutrient Powder (Cognito MNP) produced by Micronutrient Laboratories Limited (MLL).
According to SON, the certificate gives the company the approval to produce micronutrient powder for use by Nigerians.
MANCAP was created by SON in 2006 to ensure that all locally manufactured goods conform to the minimum Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) and the nationally approved Code of Practice before being sold or exported.
MLL launched its own brand of MNP at the 44th annual AGM and scientific conference of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) in 2020.
SON’s Director of Product Certification Department, Tersoo Orngudwen, said MLL was granted the certification after a thorough factory inspection and the laboratory analysis of product samples.
“Users add the powder to complementary food for children after the first six months of exclusive breastfeeding.”
Adding his voice on the certification, the company’s Chief Innovation Officer, Kenny Acholonu, said the product is designed to meet a pressing need of tackling infant malnutrition in Nigeria.
Cognito MNP is a well-formulated single-serve blend of 15 essential micronutrients, 10 vitamins and five minerals. It is a free-flowing powder that is conveniently packed in 1gram affordable sachets to improve the nutritional content of most staple foods.
Users add the powder to semi-solid foods and porridges at the point of eating and at a temperature conducive to feeding the child.
Mr. Acholonu said a sachet of the powder is sufficient to provide 100 per cent recommended nutrient intake (RNI) for infants and young children within the age range of six months to five years.
“Users add the powder to complementary food for children after the first six months of exclusive breastfeeding. The addition of vitamins and minerals to enrich the nutrient content of food is one of the intervention strategies adopted by the Federal government to tackle malnutrition,” he added.
Nigeria plagued with malnutrition
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) states that Nigeria has the second-highest burden of stunted children in the world, with a national prevalence rate of 32 per cent of children under five. An estimated 2 million children in Nigeria suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), but the country reaches only two out of every ten children affected with treatment.
Besides, UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank Group have identified three categories of malnutrition namely, stunting, wasting and overweight.
The Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates, 2020 by the organizations reported that 144 million children under-5 are stunted (too short for their age), 47 million are wasted (too thin for their height) and 38 million children under 5 are overweight.
Cognito will assist Nigeria to tackle the problem of micronutrient deficiency. It will be useful in tackling the challenge of food lacking in vital nutrients that many of the country’s deprived citizens eat and serve their children.