Appleton, Wis.—Wisconsin Rotarians and two Wisconsin flour millers are engaged in an effort to gain recognition by the United Nations and US Food Aid programs of what they maintain is a novel technique to save babies and end hunger. The non-profit group, called The Power Flour Action Network promotes and distributes a well-known ingredient that they believe will become a vital, new link in the world food aid chain.
Power Flour is a simple food made entirely of ground-up sprouted barley grains. The powder is widely used to flavor and condition such foods as cornflakes, breads, pizza crusts, malted milks and instant potato products.
According to the Power Flour Action Network, malted barley flour is special because it is rich in enzymes that liquefy starchy foods like corn, wheat, oats, cassava and yams, among others. These starchy foods are either staples distributed by international food aid programs or indigenous foods produced throughout the developing world.
Power Flour “pre-digests” any of these hot boiled staples into a digestible fluid, with the consistency of a baby formula, containing simple sugars and all of the nutrients previously bound up in the base starchy foods. In this way, starchy food is made easier for babies and small children to swallow, and the break down of complex starches into more simple sugars (accomplished by mixing the Power Flour with the food after cooking) facilitates a greater caloric uptake by the malnourished child.
A program directed by Jimmy Carter and Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug found that malnourished children in Ghana’s villages realize three times more value from the food they eat when Power Flour is used as an ingredient.