IFTSA’s Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition 2020 Winning Team: Making Bonbon Bouye, A Peanut Nutrition Bar
By: Edwin Allan
Sub-Saharan Africa remains unable to rely on its domestic agriculture to feed its population. Over 70% of consumed food is imported. After completing my first degree in nutrition and food science in the University of Ghana, it became my goal to help propel my home nation and the entire continent into an age of food independency and sovereignty.
To begin our quest of food sovereignty in rural Africa, we partnered with Senegalese smallholder farmers with the aim of creating a value-added peanut nutrition bar with rural farming communities. A disruption established imported foods would require exceptional product development and innovation skills. To create a premium value-added product and to confirm the innovation and of our idea, my advisor recommended the “Developing solutions for developing countries competition (DSDC).” The DSDC under the Institute of Food Technologist Student Association (IFTSA) is a product development competition that promotes the development of new products and processes that are targeted at improving the quality of life for people in developing countries. The DSDC is composed of a preliminary proposal, a final proposal and an oral presentation all judged by a panel of food science experts.
Engaging in the DSDC refined our product development research and improve the quality and safety of our peanut nutrition bar. The preliminary and final proposal of the DSDC requires a detailed description of the product application, the product development process and safety guidelines. Preparing for the proposals made our team refine our product development, measuring important variables like the ratios of ingredients, baking temperature and nutrition which are necessary to provide a premium product. A HACCP plan is also required in the safety section of the proposal which made us understand and develop a flow diagram for our process, identifying critical control points and setting up good manufacturing practices. Developing our HACCP plan made us consider the internal temperature of our product after baking leading to a reduction in our product size to ensure a 160oF internal temperature.
The DSDC helped our team improve the quality and safety of our peanut nutrition bar, but more importantly it also made us consider the economic feasibility. The impact and economic feasibility are important sections in the proposals and judges particularly are concerned about how your product can be brough to market. For our team especially, our peanut nutrition bar was being made with Senegalese smallholder women as a commercial product, so accounting for production costs, estimated selling prices and profits made our product easily transferrable to the Senegalese market.
Our team put in effort and excelled in creating the preliminary proposal, final proposal and a PowerPoint presentation for the oral presentation. We were excited to win the competition in 2020 but we were more excited about the impact of our preparation for the DSDC and the expert advice and comments from the judges on the quality of our peanut nutrition bar. Our improved product therefore was able to secure sponsorship from the African Development Bank to build a cottage factory for the Senegalese women farmers to make our peanut nutrition bar, named Bonbon Bouye by the women farmers.
Photo credit: Rebecca Soule
Interested in competing in one of our Product Development Competitions? The submission portal is now open for you to submit. Preliminary proposals are due on Wednesday, February 1 at 11:59 PM CT. Learn more and submit
About the Author: Edwin Allan
Edwin completed his bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food science at the University of Ghana. Through this experience, he was inspired to use his education to make a difference in his home nation. Currently, he is a PhD Candidate in the Individual Interdisciplinary Program (IIP) at Montana State University.