NutriMax Project




The research project, promoted by Vincenzo Armini, a PhD in Agricultural Sciences and Agro-Food Science at the Department of Agricultural Sciences of University of Naples Federico II, supervised by the profs. Raffaele Sacchi and Silvana Cavella, is divided into two main phases: a first part concerning the recipe’s completion and a second part concerning the construction of a pilot plant, provided by Microlife, at the University of Gulu, Uganda (Africa), exploiting a ten-year partnership between the Neapolitan university and the Ugandan university. At the present, 50,000 euros are needed to complete the project and Federico II does not have such grants.

That’s why you need your help!

In fact, the PhD-Student has founded the NutriAfrica Association of Volunteering, along with a large group of friends and university colleagues, with the intent of collecting the money needed to finalize this “African dream” through a series of events and initiatives addicted to a Public Funds Collection. The success of the first six months of operation was extraordinary, with over 10,000 euros collected and promising expansion prospects.

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In the illustration below, you can see a brief description of the NutriMax production process:

1) Spirulina drying and roasting of Soya and Sorghum;
2) Coarse grinding of Spirulina, Soya and Sorghum;
3) Mixing of dried Spirulina, roasted Soy, roasted Sorghum, icing Sugar, Soy Lecithin Powder, Mineral Salts, Vitamins and Sunflower Oil;
4) Ball Milling.


The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimate that 800 million people in the world are malnourished, 160 million of whom are under five children. Of these, more than 6 million die each year and more than half of them for complications bonded to malnutrition.
Significant help to fight Severe Acute Malnutrition has come from an innovative product used by the United Nations and Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (GO and NGO): Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), which commercially takes the name of Plumpy’ Nut®. It is a creamy spread, very similar to peanut butter for consistency, color and flavor, containing peanuts, skimmed milk powder, rape oil, sugar and a mix of mineral salts and vitamins, balanced to optimize taste, energy and nutrients for malnourished children. The great benefit of RUTF lies in the possibility of treating cases of malnutrition without special clinical complications directly at home, resulting in the displacement of hospitals. Very serious problems affecting this product, however, are related to the use of peanuts due to their allergenic power. Other not minor problems derive from the use of skimmed milk powder, not only poorly digested by African and South-east Asian children, but also extremely expensive, influencing for almost 1/3 of the total inventory cost of the finished product. Finally, the entire production process and the recipe were patented by the proprietary French multinational, NutriSet, a circumstance that makes local production very difficult to take off – although a local franchising is admitted – as its licensing costs are very high.
At the Department of Agricultural Sciences of University of Naples Federico II, a promising product is emerging at the finalization stage: NutriMax. Made from vegetal ingredients and easy to find on the place – toasted soybeans, toasted sorghum, sugar, dried Spirulina maxima and sunflower oil – as well as manufactured using simple production technology – NutriMax is intended to arrive where no other product has ever arrived before, directly in the heart of the villages and rural areas of Africa and Asia.

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