Bangladesh has just got two new tools to ward off malnutrition in the form of biscuit and chanachur (a popular snack) made from fish.
Although the country has achieved self-sufficiency in food, people from disadvantaged communities, particularly women and children, suffer from malnutrition.Researchers at Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU) said the biscuit and chanachur contain 40-50 percent protein, 20-30 percent fat, 20-25 percent carbohydrate, 10-15 percent mineral and 10-12 percent fibre.
Ikhtiar Uddin Khandaker, Health Programme Director of CARE Bangladesh emphasised multisectoral approach to develop nutrition-boosting frameworks at local level. He noted that nutrition is a triple burden in Bangladesh that includes malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and obesity.
The researchers said the new items will help meet the demand for nutrition, especially of the children and women.
SAU researchers are using Pangas and Silver Carp fishes for producing the snacks. The two species have fewer bones and are easy to work with. Their proteins are easily digestible compared to other fishes.
“The biscuit and chanachur will be available in the market soon and won’t cost that much,” a member of the team said.
Prof Dr Ahsan Habib, the Dean of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Science Faculty, said they chose the two species of fish as they are cheap and available.Lecturer Masud Rana of Fishing and Post-Harvest Technology Department said they named the products ‘SAU Fish Biscuit-1’ and ‘SAU Fish Chanacur-1’ while the same product of Silver Carp was named as ‘SAU Fish Biscuit-2’ and ‘SAU Fish Chanacur-2’.
Prof Habib and Rana coordinated the research team.
The SAU researchers said they will continue to work to ensure food safety and nutrition.
“These products will add a new dimension to the food industry of the country,” a member of the team said.