“RUTF blogger” claims three different companies make peanut-paste products in Malawi and only one of them is franchised by Nutriset. I hope to check this information out when I visit Malawi next year. This information was first posted on my other blog, The Global Health Report. (RUTF is short for ready-to-use-therapeutic food.).
If RUTF blogger is right, this could be another example of prior art.
From RUTF blogger (sorry, no link available):
In Malawi, there are two producers of RUTF essentially using the same formula. One producer has machinery specified by Nuttriset and they are either a franchisee or a licensee. (The terminology is important, but I don’t know what strings are attached to their agreement.) The other producer has developed its own processing equipment, produces the same quality product, and is providing about the same volume of product to Malawi. However, they say they are neither a licensee nor a franchisee, but that they ARE allowed to produce RUTF without any opposition from (or perhaps even with agreement of) Nutriset. They are not using the Plumpy’Nut(R) brand name. A third company is a commercial food processor and has been producing nutritional supplements for years. They have a product sold widely in grocery stores that is very similar (has soy milk instead of dairy milk solids and is lactose free). It has about the same energy value (KCal/100g); same or similar level of vitamin and mineral supplements; same or similar protein, carb, and fat content; also predominantly peanut and sugar-based; also ready-to-eat and no water added… but they definitely have no license from Nutriset. In fact, I’ve been told their product actually pre-dates Plumpy’Nut(R)- I have not been able to validate this. Their product is promoted as a supplement and not as a total food replacing other food. It is not promoted for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) but is positioned as “The most efficient energy and weight accelerator!” See more at their site: http://www.sibusiso.net/. They seem to now be owned by a major Malawi food processer called Rab Processors Ltd. See http://rabmw.com