Final Summary – PUFA Study Research


Before I knew it, I was on my way back to the U.S. last month, the acceptability trial complete! I then set out on the final task: data analysis. I used a number of Excel spreadsheets to sort the data from 280 Chichewa data forms, as well as to calculate the values important to my analysis.

The study was completed with 148 patients, in a total of 8 clinics in southern Malawi. The results showed no significant association between food type and overall likability among the two types of food tested.

Here is an excerpt from my final report, which was submitted to Project Peanut Butter:

“The data collected in this trial support the hypothesis that there would not be a significant difference in likability between type of RUTF – PUFA or regular Chiponde. A few of the HSAs noted that children in the trial found the texture of the PUFA food to be thick compared to the Chiponde they were used to eating. This higher mean time to eat and number of children not finishing the PUFA sample compared to Chiponde may reflect this difference in texture. However, the texture difference did not appear to affect the overall likability of the new product.

Overall, the results of the trial determined that the subjects accepted the PUFA food, enabling the start of a larger study that will be conducted to measure the effects of the PUFA RUTF on a SAM child’s physical and cognitive development, compared to the effects of Chiponde.”

The larger PUFA study, a trial to test the effects of added poly-unsaturated fatty acids on young children’s cognitive and motor development, will begin in Malawi later this year.

Overall, this has been an incredible learning experience, and I am grateful to the Charles Center, my research advisor Dr. Ickes, and the Director and Staff of Project Peanut Butter for the opportunity to be a part of this research.



  1. Great study Cristy! I read through some of your other posts and I was wondering what measures are considered most important for determining how acceptable the food is. Is it time taken to eat the food? Or amount eaten? Or the surveys filled out by the mothers?