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APPLICATIONS OF NUTRITIONAL AND FOOD SCIENCE TO MEETING WORLD FOOD NEEDS* BY NEVIN S.

SCRIMSHAW
DEPARTMENT OF NUTRITION AND FOOD SCIENCE, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

The National Academy of Sciences has organized this symposium at a time when the daily headlines are filled with the world food crisis and when population increases place staggering burdens on world food supplies. Because India has suffered its worst failure of the monsoon rains in this century, the enormously increased food aid from the United States, recently approved by Congress, is essential if mass starvation is to be avoided there. Yet the food crisis in India this year is different only in magnitude from those which now occur annually when the harvest is said to be normal. As graphically described in recent publications of the USDA's Economic Research Service, most of the developing countries are losing the capacity to feed themselves because per capita food production fails to keep pace with population growth.' 2 One result is increasing dependence on North America to fill the food gap. Another is that the developing countries have serious nutrition problems which are jeopardizing their futures. Most of their children show reduced growth and development soon after six months of age, when breast milk alone is no longer adequate for their nutritional needs and food supplements during and after weaning do not supply enough protein.3 The populations of developing countries are small in stature for this reason and not primarily because of significant differences in genetic growth potential. Small body size is of no consequence per se, but early nutritional retardation in physical growth and development may be accompanied by permanent limitations in later learning and behavior. A symposium held recently in Atlantic City presented fresh evidence of this from field studies in Peru, Mexico, and Guatemala as well as from work with experimental animals.5 The degree of malnutrition responsible for retarded growth also increases susceptibility to infection. Most of the high mortality attributed to diarrheal disease, measles, tuberculosis, and other infections in developing countries is really due to a synergism of infection and malnutrition.6' 7 This synergism works both ways; infection in an already malnourished individual frequently precipitates frank and even fatal nutritional diseases.8 The most frequent and often fatal is kwashiorkor, which is due primarily to a deficiency of protein relative to calories. Nutritional marasmus, or partial starvation, is also common, especially among young children in city slums who are weaned early. Another important cause of increased deaths from infection, as well as of blindness, is vitamin A deficiency. When the deficiency becomes severe, often following an infection, keratomalacia, or softening of the cornea, develops. This leads to permanent scarring, and the eyeball may even rupture and extrude the lens. In either case, if the child recovers, vision is permanently damaged. Avitaminosis A is endemic in Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East, and is seen sporadically in Africa and Latin America, usually in association with kwashiorkor and marasmus. Deficiencies of iron and B-comnplex vitamins make anemias of nutritional
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origin widespread, and the nutritional anemias are responsible for much-lessened vitality and productivity. Pellagra, resulting from a deficiency of the vitamin niacin, is still a scourge in Egypt and parts of Africa and India. Infantile beriberi, due to thiamin deficiency, is actually increasing in Southeast Asia as more efficient mechanical mills replace hand-pounding of rice. Endemic goiter is a problem in almost every underdeveloped country and results in an increased frequency of deaf-mutism, feeblemindedness, and mentally defective cretinous dwarfs. Adults adapt to a chronic shortage of calories as well as to anemia by reduced activity. Lack of protein also leads to apathy and lethargy. Thus, a population may be weak and unable to produce to capacity, but continue to live on an inadequate diet without protest, unless, as in parts of India today, they riot -because they feel their very survival to be at stake or because they are readily aroused by demagoguery. It is easy for well-fed foreigners and middle- and upper-income countrymen to consider such people lazy and without ambition when they actually need more and better food. Nutrition problems are of course directly related to food supplies and their purchase. In the last decade, the developing countries have made notable achievements in increasing agricultural production as well as in raising industrial activity and improving educational facilities. Because of the falling death rates and continuing high birth rates, the per capita change has often been insignificant or negative. Furthermore, much of the increase in agricultural production has come from farming an increased land area, sometimes of marginal quality, by the same inefficient methods instead of from greater yields per acre as in the developed countries. The reasons are well known. The developing countries have been unable sufficiently to utilize the techniques of modern agriculture, food processing, and food conservation which are basic to the success of the developing countries in feeding their own populations with an abundance to spare. The problem is greatly complicated by the fact that the elements of increased production, better seeds and breeds, agricultural chemicals, farm machinery, rural credit, and education and training in their use must all be supplied at the same time to be really effective. A successful systems approach is required. The consequences of a continuing decrease in per capita food production in the developing countries cannot be evaded with impunity. A growing food gap will contribute both directly and indirectly to the political and social unrest which is already so perilous a threat to the peace of the world. For most developing countries a permanent solution can come only from a more rapid increase in the indigenous food resources and a less rapid population growth. If we allow food to limit population growth, further social disintegration can be expected and the lowered physical vitality of the people will retard further social and economic development. Moreover, it would intensify hatred and envy of the industrialized countries of the West, as would any attempt to reduce population growth by withdrawing or failing to support modern medical and public health measures. Furthermore, only well-fed and healthy children can grow and learn to the maximum extent of their genetic potential and only well-nourished and healthy adults can be fully productive members of society. Nor can family planning be successful unless children conceived have a good chance of survival.

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The United States must of course continue to use its food surpluses to alleviate the worst of the nutrition problems of developing countries and give them time and incentive to improve their food supplies. It must be clearly recognized, however, that we are only buying time to find more permanent solutions. The sheer magnitude of the problem will overwhelm the most optimistic estimate of the U.S. agricultural potential in a relatively few years, and in any event political and economic reasons preclude permanent dependence of developing countries on the United States for food. Most efforts to solve the protein problem to date involve the application of existing scientific and technical knowledge to the production of conventional agricultural products, especially cereal grains, milk, meat, poultry, and eggs. We must do a great deal more in this regard, and other speakers in this symposium are describing the measures required. It is clear, however, that most of the developing countries are becoming more, rather than less, dependent on food imports, despite their own often vigorous efforts to improve food production with the help of the United Nations agencies and direct bilateral aid from the U.S. and other governments and private foundations. It is appropriate, therefore, also to consider unconventional ways of augmenting world food supplies. These will be needed in addition to conventional protein sources. Because these new methods involve centralized action, some may be able to bypass obstacles which are limiting the introduction of modern agricultural practices. Oilseed Meals.-Oilseed meals are the most feasible untapped source of protein immediately available for human consumption. The press cake remaining after the oil is expressed or extracted from soybeans, cottonseed, peanut, sesame, and other oil-rich seeds contains about 50 per cent protein of relatively good biological value. In the world as a whole nearly 100 million tons of oilseeds were produced last year, of which only a tiny fraction was used for human feeding. Oilseed meals can be ground finely and mixed with two-thirds cereal grain to provide a mixture which meets the full protein needs of both children and adults. When cooked as a thin gruel, each glass of the mixture can provide the same amount of protein and a better complement of essential nutrients than a glass of milk, and at one fifth the cost. Most developing countries have large amounts of cottonseed, peanut, or other oilseed meals which could be used almost immediately for human consumption. The bottleneck is usually the lack of proper industrial processing of oilseeds for this purpose and the absence of a food industry with the experience and motivation to mix, package, and distribute such mixtures adequately at low cost. India has already constructed facilities capable of producing large quantities of vegetable mixture from locally available peanut and cottonseed meal. By comnbining U.S. grain supplied under Public Law 480 with Indian cottonseed and peanut flour, over 1 million children per day could be provided with their full protein requirement, beginning almost immediately. Despite the drought, these valuable protein concentrates are not in short supply and are being wasted as poor-quality fertilizer. Production of suitable peanut and cottonseed meals could be expanded by next year to provide for 10 million children per day from locally available supplies of cottonseed and peanuts. Present plans call for such mixtures to be produced in several localities in India under the generic name bat ahar, literally "nutritious child food." The United

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States will produce and ship additional bal ahar made with soya flour in order to stimulate Indian production and promotion of such food, as well as to help feed India's starving children in the present emergency. Incaparina is a vegetable mixture developed by the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) using cottonseed flour as the major protein source.9 It is helping several Central and South American countries to meet their urgent need for low-cost protein-rich foods, especially for infant and child feeding. Over three million pounds were sold last year in Guatemala and Colombia alone. In South Africa, Proflo, based on soya flour, is also a commercial success. In the future, oilseed meals will be indispensable in feeding the growing populations of the underdeveloped countries and are likely to provide more of the food protein in industrialized countries."1 Several U.S. companies have developed processes for extracting the protein in pure form from the oilseed meals, spinning it like nylon into fibers of desired size and texture and combining these fibers into accurate simulations of the texture of chicken, scallops, ham, beef, bacon, and other foods. With appropriate flavoring and additives, these products are often indistinguishable from the originals. The process is now too costly to be practical for developing countries but is an encouraging example of the possibilities of palatable and nutritious substitutes for protein of animal origin. Peanut protein isolate may already be feasible for the toning of buffalo milk. This milk contains approximately 7 per cent butterfat or more compared with 33.5 per cent in cow's milk. The value of buffalo milk supplies can therefore be nearly doubled by adding dried skim milk and water to arrive at the protein and fat composition of cow's milk. Equipment for a process developed by the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore, India, has been installed in Bombay by Tata Oil Mills to produce peanut protein isolate for this purpose. Milk toned with this product is to be marketed under the name "Lactone." It has excellent flavor and acceptability and the same nutritive value as cow's milk. Another potential source of protein for the toning of buffalo milk is whey, a byproduct of cheese-making, which can now be recovered cheaply using an ion exchange technique developed for the purification of sea water (developed by Tonics, Inc., Watertown, Mass.). Fish.-Potentially, fish are another maj or source of protein for human feeding. They offer relatively low-cost protein of high quality which is independent of agricultural land. However, the inexpensive form most feasible for .feeding to young children, fish protein concentrate made from whole fish, requires even more sophisticated processing than the oilseeds. Furthermore, access to the sea and to oceangoing fishing vessels is needed. Fortunately, there now appear to be several economical and feasible processes available, most notably the one based on isopropyl alcohol extraction of hake, recently developed by the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries." Marine protein concentrate made by this method from whole fish has been shown by extensive chemical, biological, and clinical testing to be safe, wholesome, and nutritious. Additional legislation has recently been introduced in both houses of Congress to support the exploitation of this process for the benefit of both the U.S. and developing countries. In terms of potential fisheries resources, the west coasts of

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South America and India, the east coast of Africa, and the countries surrounding the Bay of Thailand are particularly favorable locations for large-scale plants to produce this type of marine protein concentrate. Microorganisms.-Microorganisms are a third potential source of large quantities of protein for human consumption independent of agricultural land. Torula yeast, which contains 50 per cent protein, was used for food in Europe during both the first and second world wars, but its palatability was too limited and its cost too high for its continued use. The few million pounds of torula yeast used in the United States each year are produced on the sulfite liquor left from papermaking and serve as a minor ingredient in a variety of foods. Even torula yeast produced on very cheap molasses in tropical countries has thus far proved too expensive to be an economically competitive source of protein for either animal or human feeding. There are thousands of fungi and bacteria, most of them about 50 per cent protein by dry weight, which should be screened for their suitability as acceptable and low-cost food sources. Of great potential significance is the fact that some of these microorganisms can produce protein by using petroleum hydrocarbons for energy and nitrogen chemically fixed from the air. A commercial process developed by a French subsidiary of British Petroleum Ltd., the Soci6t6 Internationale de Recherche, Paris, was described recently at an American Chemical Society symposium on evaluation of world protein resources.'2 At least one large oil company in the United States is carrying out pilot studies of a similar nature. With the large reserves of petroleum and the chemical engineering conmpetence to refine it located in many areas of the world desperately short of protein, solution of the remaining technical problems standing in the way of the practical production of protein from microbial sources should be given a high priority. Such a program will involve selecting and screening suitable microorganisms, measuring their biological value and safety in experimental animals, and processing them for food use. It must include demonstrations of their value by clinical tests with both normal and malnourished subjects, and by field trials of the feasibility of incorporating them into food. Improvement of Cereal Proteins.-Even though the genetic potentials for increasing yields of food crops are discussed in detail in the article by Dr. Mangelsdorf, I would be remiss not to emphasize the implications of the recent discovery of the genes Floury 2 and Opaque 2, which will double the protein quality of corn.'3 If, as now predicted, similar genes can be found for sorghum, millet, and wheat, these new cereal varieties could significantly increase world protein production on existing land. Of course, we can also improve the protein quality of cereal grains through the appropriate addition of synthetic amino acids, and should do so for cereal-eating populations when other means are not available. When feasible, it is better still to improve both the quality and the quantity of cereal protein for conventional use by adding 3 per cent fish protein concentrate, 5 per cent dried milk solids or 8 per cent oilseed meal, torula yeast, or possibly one of the new microbial protein products. Within the limits of palatability, the choice of the enriching materialtshould be based entirely on its availability and on the final cost per unit of utilizable protein. Dilution of Animal Protein with Nonspecific Nitrogen.-Another possible means of

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extending relatively scarce and valuable animal protein is the addition of simple and inexpensive nitrogen compounds such as diammonium citrate, glycine, and glutamic acid. Protein requirements have two components: an adequate quantity of each of the eight essential amino acids and enough utilizable nitrogen to enable the body to synthesize the remaining amino acids found in tissue protein molecules. Eggs and milk are foods for the very young, rapidly growing animal, and they contain higher proportions of the essential amino acids in relation to their total nitrogen content than older children and adults require. Thus, no loss in the excellent protein value of these foods need be involved in stretching or diluting the original protein with simple nitrogen sources. 14 Synthetic Energy Sources.-Synthetic sources of energy may be economical substitutes for natural fats and carbohydrates. Some can be produced cheaply from petrochemicals. For example, two relatively simple compounds not found in nature, 1-3 butanediol and 24 dimethyl heptanoic acid, have been shown to have a higher caloric value for their weight than sugar or starch and to be safe and acceptable energy sources for experimental animals. 15 1-3 Butanediol is already available in carload lots at low cost, but has a bitter aftertaste which limits its use in foods for man. Many other promising compounds can be synthesized, however, and are likely in the future to relieve some of the pressure on agriculture for food and feed calories. Synthetic Foods.-Wholly synthetic foods will eventually play a significant role in supplementing agricultural and marine production. The essential nutrients can already be obtained in chemically pure form from synthetic or natural sources. Rats fed the latest wholly synthetic diets grow and reproduce as well as those given the best natural diets. At both the University of Capetown and INCAP in Guatemala, children with the severe protein deficiency of kwashiorkor have been cured with a mixture of pure amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. I would stress that palatable wholly synthetic foods have yet to be developed and would be prohibitively expensive at present. Synthetic foods, however, are well within the reach of modern food technology, and almost certainly will one day be economically feasible as well. Other Measures.-I have not mentioned a mechanical cow to ingest grass and leaves, squeeze out their juice, and precipitate the protein it contains, because .the resulting product has thus far proved to be unpalatable and too expensive to justify attempts to process it. While the same seems to be true for Chlorella and other one-celled algae, future technology may solve these problems. There is one other contribution to world food supplies, however, of immediate and continuing significance for the developing countries, which would be the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land. This is the elimination of preventable waste from molds, insects, rodents, birds, monkeys, nonproductive domestic animals, and simple spoilage. Dr. Parpia, director of the Central Food Technological Research Institute of India, estimates that in a normal year India could export rather than import food if readily preventable waste were controlled. Having observed the losses of food in developing countries, I believe this to be correct. Ecologists of the Johns Hopkins University International Center for Medical Research Training have estimated that nearly a third of the stored grain in one typical warehouse in Calcutta was lost to rodents. One pair of bandi-

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coots, the animals mainly responsible, has been estimated to be capable of producing 900 offspring in 12 months under the optimum food supply conditions in the usual grain godown. For this reason, cement floors, ground glass in the outer plaster, and galvanized iron strips under the doors in a large proportion of such godowns could make a major contribution to India's food supply. In a general sense, more modern methods of food conservation, food processing, packaging, and marketing can contribute much to food supplies of developing countries. In conclusion, it should be clear that the world trend of falling food supplies per capita must be halted and then reversed. If not, unrest, civil disturbance, and political instability in the developing countries will continue to increase and eventually engulf us all. We can still buy precious time through shipments abroad of surplus agricultural products and still more by reversing the long-standing policy of restricting farm production in order to produce what is now to be called "Food for Freedom." At best, however, this can be only a stopgap measure on the world scene. As Mr. Bell emphasized at the beginning of this symposium, countries must not be trapped into permanent dependence on the United States for either food or money. Since the food gap between the industrialized countries and the so-called underdeveloped countries is continuing to widen, it is clear that we are still failing to cope with the twin problems of high human fertility and low agricultural productivity. At present the developed countries are not sharing effectively enough the benefits of modern science, medicine, education, and agricultural and industrial technology. Nor have we learned how to do so. In order to ensure that these benefits are shared by the developing countries, our own efforts and those of the other industrialized countries must be more comparable in magnitude and determination to those now being devoted by the United States and the Soviet Union to space exploration. Many more men and much more money will be required. There are no panaceas and it will take many years. Nevertheless, we must consider this type of assistance to developing countries to be as essential for our defense as military preparedness. Conventional agricultural production should certainly receive the major support, but we must not think in terms of traditional foods alone. We must look also to the use of oilseed meals, fish protein concentrate, microbial proteins, ionically recovered protein from whey, synthetic energy sources, and even wholly synthetic foods. The limiting factor is not and will not be the availability of scientific and technical knowledge in the developed countries, but the lag in its adaptation to and application by developing countries. The efforts to help the less-developed countries must not continue to be too little and too late. This symposium and the statements which have been made are encouraging evidence of major policy developments in the right direction. * Contribution 934 from the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1 Brown, L. R., Increasing World Food Output, Foreign Agricultural Economic Report No. 25, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service (April 1965). 2 Brown, L. R., Man, Land and Food, Foreign Agricultural Economic Report No. 11, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service (November 1963). 3Scrimshaw, N. S., "Malnutrition in underdeveloped countries," New Engl. J. Med., 272 137-144, 193-198 (1965).

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4Cravioto, J., "Malnutrition and behavioral development in the pre-school child," in PreSchool Child Malnutrition, National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council Publication 1282, Washington, D.C. (1966), pp. 74-84. 6 Nutrition Society Symposium: The Relationship of Nutrition to Central Nervous System Development and Function, presented at 50th Annual Meeting, Atlantic City, New Jersey, April 1966; to be published in Federation Proc. 6Scrimshaw, N. S., "Malnutrition and infection," Borden's Rev. Nutrition Res., 26(2), 17-29 (1965). 7Scrimshaw, N. S., "The effect of the interaction of nutrition and infection on the pre-school child," in Pre-School Child Malnutrition, National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, Publication 1282, Washington, D.C. (1966). 8 Scrimshaw, N. S., and M. Behar, "Protein malnutrition in young children," Science, 133, 2039-47 (1961). 9 Scrimshaw, N. S., M. Behar, D. Wilson, F. Viteri, G. Arroyave, and R. Bressani, "All-vegetable, protein mixtures for human feeding. V. Clinical trials with INCAP mixtures 8 and 9 and with corn and beans," Am. J. Clin. Nutrition, 9, 196-205 (1961). 10 Scrimshaw, N. S., "Protein for malnourished persons," in A Century of Nutrition Progress (Kansas City, Missouri: Midwest Feed Manufacturers' Association, 1961). 11 Marine Protein Concentrate, U.S. Department of the Interior Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, Fishery Leaflet 584, Washington, D.C. (1966). 12Champagnet, A., "Protein from petroleum," Symposium on Evaluation of World Protein Resources, American Chemical Society, Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 13-15, 1965. See Champagnet, A., "Protein from petroleum," Sci. Am., 213, 13-17 (1965). 1" Mangelsdorf, P. C., "Genetic potentials for increasing yields of food crops and animals," these PROCEEDINGS, 56, 370 (1966). 14 Scrimshaw, N. S., V. R. Young, R. Schwartz, M. L. Piche, and J. B. Das, "Minimum dietary essential amino acid to total nitrogen ratio for whole egg protein fed to young men," J. Nutrition, June, 1966 (in press). ", Miller, S. A., "High energy non-fat nutrient sources," Conference on Nutrition in Space and Related Waste Problems, Tampa, Fla., April 27-30, 1964, (Washington, D.C.: National Aerotiautics and Space Administration, SP-70, 1964), pp. 343-351.