Nutritious Soy Noodles for Cambodia

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

URBANA -- The National Soybean Research Laboratory (NSRL) on the University of Illinois campus is providing technical assistance to create 1,000,000 packages of specially formulated soy-fortified noodles in Cambodia.

This collaboration between NSRL, International Relief and Development (IRD) and Men Sarun Instant Noodle Factory will integrate 10 percent soy flour into the standard Men Sarun noodle recipe. The soy noodles are called Mee Bompon Sokpeap, meaning "nutritious noodles."

The noodles will be sold to Cambodian institutional buyers in the humanitarian sector for distribution to their customers. This project will test the feasibility and acceptability of the enhanced instant soy noodle. The noodles will also be sampled in local markets to test the acceptability and promote the product to other potential customers.

The noodles provide a complete range of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and folic acid. There will be a 13.5 percent protein level and the soy flour provides a high quality protein to the noodle dough. IRD is currently providing the soy flour and fortificants, which up until now were unavailable in Cambodia. IRD and Men Sarun conducted a Cambodian Enterprise Expedition where consumers purchased and taste-tested the noodles. Participants were eager to try the new soy-enhanced product, and the noodles sold out quickly.

NSRL will provide technical experts to assist Men Sarun with improving quality assurance and quality control standards, as well as improving their quality control laboratory.

NSRL engages in research, outreach and education supporting soy nutrition, production and international development. In short, NSRL is very knowledgeable about soy and wants to share its knowledge. More information is available at www.nsrl.illinois.edu.