Plumpy'nut, also known as Plumpy, is a peanut-based food for use in famine relief which was formulated in 1999 by André Briend, a French scientist.


Micronutrient Amount
Vitamin A
910 mcg
Vitamin D
16 mcg
Vitamin E
20 mg
Vitamin C
53 mg
Vitamin B1
0.6 mg
Vitamin B2
1.8 mg
Vitamin B6
0.6 mg
Vitamin B12
1.8 mcg
Vitamin K
21 mcg
65 mcg
Folic acid
210 mcg
Pantothenic acid
3.1 mg
5.3 mg
320 mg
394 mg
1111 mg
92 mg
14 mg
1.78 mg
11.53 mg
110 mcg
<290 mg
30 mcg
Plumpy'nut is a high protein and high energy peanut-based paste in a foil wrapper. It tastes slightly sweeter than peanut butter. It is categorized by the WHO as a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).

Plumpy’nut requires no preparation or special supervision, making it easy to deploy in difficult conditions. Plumpy'nut is very difficult to overeat and keeps even after opening. It has a 2 year shelf life when unopened. The product was inspired by the popular Nutella spread. It is manufactured by Nutriset, a French company, that specializes in making food supplements for relief work in their factory near Rouen in northern France. The ingredients are: peanut paste, vegetable oil, powdered milk, powdered sugar, vitamins, and minerals, combined in a foil pouch. Each pack provides 500 Kcal or 2.1 MJ. .

Plumpy'nut contains vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and K, and minerals calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, iodine, sodium, and selenium.


The New York Times reported that the paste is administered in packets, twice daily, for two to four weeks, in combination with Unimix, a vitamin-enriched flour for making porridge, and will reverse malnutrition in severely malnourished children.

The World Health Organization has recognized the utility of this food for famine relief. Plumpy'nut can be packaged in local peanut-producing areas, such as Malawi and Niger, by mixing the ground nut and milk paste with a slurry of vitamins and minerals from Nutriset.

Médecins Sans Frontières (known as Doctors without Borders in the US) has been dispensing fourteen packets (1 week's worth) of Plumpy'nut in 22 centers in Niger since May 2005, but only to those children who are dramatically underweight and sufficiently well to benefit from outpatient care.

Project Peanut Butter has done extensive field trials with RUTF in Malawi from 2001-2007, operating the first local factory where Plumpy'nut is produced, and distributing this therapeutic food to malnourished Malawian children in more than 20 nutritional rehabilitation centers.

How it works

Plumpy’nut is frequently used as a treatment for emergency malnutrition cases. It helps with rapid weight gain, which can make the difference between life and death for a young child. The product is also easy for children to eat since they can feed themselves the soft paste. The fortified peanut butter–like paste contains a balance of fats, carbohydrates and proteins (macronutrients), and vitamins and minerals (micronutrient)s. Peanuts contain mono-unsaturated fats, which are easy to digest. They are also very high in calories, which means that a child will get a lot of energy from just small amounts (important because their stomachs have shrunk). They are rich in zinc and protein — both good for the immune system, and protein is needed for muscle development. Peanuts are also a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to convert food into energy.


A standard plumpy'nut treatment goes for four weeks (two to three times a day) at a cost of 12 Euros in Africa. The cost for four weeks of Plumpy'nut and Unimix is $35 per child. The cost in Haiti for a similar RUTF peanut butter based product is a bit higher, but still relatively inexpensive.

Success stories

Plumpy‘nut was first used during the crisis in Darfur in western Sudan and Moyross. There, it was fed to some 30,000 children and aid officials there say it has helped cut malnutrition rates in half.

In Niger, where this product was also used, there has been a huge reduction in illness and death from malnutrition. In 2005, the region that Plumpy’nut was applied had the highest malnutrition rate in Niger. The region now has the lowest malnutrition rate in the country. After widespread use, Plumpy’nut now treats more than 120,000 children (the UN estimates that 150,000 children under 5 are severely malnourished in Niger and a further 650,000 are moderately malnourished).

Plumpy'nut projects worldwide locations

Population/country Project Name Web Addresss
Malawi, Blantyre Project Peanut Butter
Sierra Leone Project Peanut Butter
Ethiopia, Addis Ababa Plumpy Nut in the Field by Hilina Enriched Foods*
Niger Plumpy in the Field Societe’ de Transformation Alimentaire (STA) *
DRCongo Jongea Lubumbashi*
Somalia Médecins Sans Frontières
Uganda International Medical Corp
Dominican Republic In planning
Haiti Meds and Foods for Kids

See also


External links

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