“NutriPulse” is a project that combines production of nutrient-dense sprouted pulse foods delivered by a network of mobile vans, bicycles, and nutrition education to transform the food consumption behaviors of two target groups in Ghana. One group being 40% students of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and the other group being 50% people from the semi-rural communities surrounding KNUST. Such people are often low-income earners, but are not being reached by food security programs that either target the poorest of the poor, or people from rural communities. The available food options are nutrient-poor and energy-dense, mostly being artificial carbonated drinks, and refined carbohydrate food products. Energy-dense food products have been reported by various research works as the leading cause (65%) of increased malnutrition, chronic diseases and mortality rates, especially in developing countries such as Ghana. Thus, the need for nutrient-dense foods to help curtail this trend. NutriPulse, will produce nutrient dense foods formulated from sprouted locally sourced organic pulses (common beans, pigeon peas and lima beans). NutriPulse foods will be rich in protein, dietary fibre, minerals, C and B-vitamins, and antioxidants. NutriPulse food hub will serve KNUST and its surrounding semi-rural communities with alternative nutrient-dense meals at an affordable price, ensuring nutrition security, as well as improving the economic power of local women farmers.
• University students/staff at KNUST and people from the surrounding community of KNUST (who are often low-income earners, but are not being reached by food security programs that either target the poorest of the poor, or those from rural communities) are our target customers
• Majority of this populace form the energetic, goal-oriented and future leaders of the country.
• They believe in positive change with exposure to appropriate information, training and education awareness.
• 70% of students and staff reside on campus, with other settlers coming from neighbouring rural communities
Since our proposed product will contain high levels of both macro and micro nutrients in a single meal, it promises healthy living delivery to customers. Also, because people desire longevity and good health at a reduced cost, customers will prefer a nutrient-dense pulse lunch that are of high satiety as well as helping protect them from diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases, as opposed to energy-dense lunch meals being served on campus. NutriPulse will be rich in beneficial nutrients like proteins, fibre, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Our products will also be served at a lower cost ($ 6.00 per plate) due to the local availability of all formulating ingredients. This has great tendency to increase patronage of our food products. Overall, our initiative will address the problem of nutrition insecurity and lead us on a right path to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goal 2.
We seek a cordial relationship, where customers will be confident to educate us on their preferences and better service improvements, while we also educate on nutrition through our food.
Innovative Food product development and sale (in addition to basic activities, such as sourcing ingredients, marketing, etc.) as a means for changing food consumption behavior.
Pulses (common bean, lima bean and pigeon pea) will be sprouted for 3 days prior to cooking. Sprouting of pulses is to increase their nutrient-density, health benefits and reduce cooking time.
Cooking water of pulses will not be discarded but used for cooking of their refried and soup fomulations. This is to keep the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants leached into cooking water. Thus, enhanced nutritional quality of served refried and soup pulse formulations.
Refried and soup pulse formulations will be served with whole wheat bread, rice and mixed vegetables. Whole wheat bread was chosen because its full in fiber and provides early satiation, as well as protecting customers from risks of developing diabetes and chronic diseases.
Also whole wheat bread and rice are rich in cysteine and methionine amino acids which are limited in pulses. Thus ensuring our served meals are balanced in nutrients for improved nutritional status.
All pulse formulations will be prepared fresh and served instantly to customers in mobile food vans. Formulations will include individual pulses as one meal and combinations of 50% each pulse in one meal. These variations will be served based on customer preference.
• World vision (desired partner)
• KNUST administrators (partner)
• KNUST students organisation bodies (partner)
• Our employees
• McGill OGP initiative (partner)
• Pigeon peas, common beans and lima beans will be supplied by local farmers from Juaben municipality of Ghana. Juaben municipality was chosen because it’s the nearsest farming location to KNUST campus. Also, purchase of pulses from local farmers will help improve their standards of living as well.
Our major source of revenue will be from the sale of our products. It is projected that we would sell 200 packaged bowls of NutriPulse per day at $6 per bowl. Thereby making up to $1, 200 daily and $2, 4000 monthly (Gross income). Upon major deductions including salary payment and ploughback for the next day sale, we will be having a monthly net income of $2, 000.
• 2 mobile food vans: $14,000
• 4 delivery bicycles: $4, 000
• Summer hubs: $4, 000
• Cooking equipments: $1, 500
• Pulses and other food ingredients: $1, 000
• 4000 branded food packaging bowls: $2, 000 per month
• Miscellaneous: $1, 5 00
Deductions after each day sales amount to
• $10, 000 monthly for Staff salaries
10 employee would be paid at the rate of $10.00 per hour for 5 hours working day.
• $12, 000 monthly as ploughback for subsequent sales
$600 would be set aside for the following day operation.
One year and three months after commencement of venture.
Our mission is to maintain and increase the nutritional status of KNUST populace, especially students and people from the communities around the university, who are often not served by food/nutrition security programs. This will help ensure health stability of our future generation, as well as help empower staffs to achieve the University’s vision. Also since the entire nation learns from KNUST, if we are successful, we can highlight to the entire nation.
Fynn Kuuk and Obaa Pa are the major lunch providers on KNUST campus. Their success is being able to provide the University populace with an on-campus lunch source. However, their failure stems on the poor nutrient-density of their food products (related to their lack of scientific knowledge, which we have), as well as high prices ($12.5 averagely) and poor managerial skills (which again we have, from our training).
Success of this venture will be determined by number the following indicators:
• Total daily, weekly and monthly sales
• Number of plates served per day,week and month
• Number of students employed per semester
• Number of student workshops per semester
• Number of total local farmers involved and supported
• In future, we plan to have nutrition outcome measurements, in partnership with the Nutrition Research and Training Centre at Upper Manya Krobo District
Strengths & Weaknesses
Our biggest strength is our food science and engineering background which provides us with a better understanding of pulse nutrient-density and improvement. Pulse nutrient-density is the research focus of one team member, and the other member is versed in quality assessment. Thus we’re much advantaged. We’re also alumni of KNUST, thus giving us an advantage of campus familiarity and food gaps. However, our weakness lies with our limited financial resource.
Nutrient-densed lunch from pulses at a reduced price will be greatly received by KNUST residents, the surrounding communities. NutriPulse has the potential of being replicated on other Ghanaian university campuses, such that universities are not only seen as places of academic learning, but also where practical issues of food and nutrition security are addressed.
Most Significant Challenge
Purchase of mobile food vans, food delivery bicycles and summer huts.