WISHH Perspectives

3 Reasons from Africa to Celebrate Soyfoods Month

WISHH is observing April Soyfoods Month by celebrating a West African strategic partner’s latest successes. Yedent Agro Group’s accomplishments are notable in any year. Achieving such resilient results in the midst of a pandemic is exceptional.

From health-conscious consumers to children who are returning to school, Yedent is bringing the power of soy protein to West Africa. Here are three ways.

1.) Two of Yedent’s soy-based fortified foods are newly approved to bear the Obaasima logo seal, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-supported program to differentiate nutritious foods in Ghana.

Obaasima is the first front-of-pack seal for fortified foods in the country and is tailored to promote good nutrition for women and children. The Association of Ghana Industries leads the logo initiative that verifies the product and advertising meet the high standards of Ghana’s Food and Drug Administration. Yedent’s soy-based Tom Vita Regular and Tom Vita X both earned the seal in April, recognizing that they contain 18 vitamins and minerals.

“The entry standards are high to meet Obaasima’s specifications, but we are prepared to fill the market with nutritious foods,” says Yedent CEO Samuel Kwame Ntim-Adu who has launched an extensive brand campaign on radio, television, social media and in markets.

Yedent uses U.S.-made soy extrusion equipment to manufacture both 18% protein products. Tom Vita is an instant cereal legume mix. Tom Vita X is a ready-to-eat cereal legume mix.

2.) Samuel and daughter Soteria, who serves as the company’s lead nutritionist, also continue to innovate with textured soy protein (TSP), including ensuring affordable nutrition reaches school children.

As Ghana made plans to reopen schools this year, Soteria worked with school meal caterers to ensure they have fresh supplies of TSP. Yedent also created a training video for school staffs on TSP use and recipes. Currently, Yedent’s TSP business serves primary schools, and it has triggered discussions with high school officials who also seek improved nutrition to help students learn and grow.

Both Samuel and Soteria gained insight on TSP and school meals through WISHH’s past U.S.-based trainings, including participation in WISHH’s Affordable Protein Supply: Solving the Institutional Meals Puzzle 2018 workshop at Purdue University. Soteria joined a WISHH-led school meal training through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cochran Fellowship Program.

3.)  “Textured soy protein has an exciting future in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa,” Samuel says. “We are fortunate to have had WISHH’s guidance.”

For example, WISHH sent a technical consultant to Yedent to work with them on how to properly manufacture TSP in Ghana. WISHH has also provided samples of U.S. soy protein to Yedent through the USDA Quality Samples Program. Now Yedent is launching a similar samples program and is working in Senegal to assist marketers to experiment with flavors and textures.

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