AREV Cambodia Brands Inc has begun the first phase of a permaculture operation near Phnom Penh, according to a February 22 press release from its parent company, Toronto-listed AREV Nanotec Brands Inc (AREV).
AREV said the 20ha operation “will support the development of the raw materials for product innovations in development for introduction to market” in the third quarter of this year.
“Our first product category is a Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food or ‘RUTF’. Several ingredients will be produced using AREV’s proprietary extraction methodologies, including selected fungi that will be used in ‘SUS-TAINN’ [Superior Utility Supplementation Therapeutic Agent for Indicated Nutritional Needs], our branded RUTF formulation.
“Mycelium are a known source of sustainable protein, which has been neglected in the development of other RUTF formulas currently distributed in significant volume in resource poor settings by numerous public health commodity procurement agencies.
“Examples include the World Food Programme and USAID utilising RUTFs to address severe and chronic malnutrition, a condition that exacerbates pandemic diseases and associated co-morbidities.
“[RUTFs] are designed for specific, nutritional, therapeutic purposes, are composed of a mixture of protein, carbohydrate, lipid, and vitamins and minerals. The primary examples of therapeutic food use are emergency feeding of malnourished children and supplementing the diets of persons with special nutrition requirements,” the Vancouver-based firm said.
AREV CEO and director Mike Withrow said in the release: “We continue to build and secure our supply chain ingredients for use in our formulations.
“This is critical to ensure we have quality ingredients and reliable access to raw materials to be extracted into the key products we are developing to address malnutrition in the context of the increasing viral pandemics of our contemporary world.
“Our development with the Phnom Penh agriculture initiative to cultivate mycelium for the market introduction of SUS-TAINN will ensure that the raw material sourcing is not subject to the dramatic price fluctuations consistently demonstrated across international commodities markets.”
And AREV senior scientific adviser Roscoe M Moore said in the release: “Unlike the majority of other RUTFs on the market, AREV Nanotech’s SUS-TAINN is being developed to address the disparities in current therapeutic strategies to address chronic and severe malnutrition in resource poor settings.
“Too often international humanitarian agencies cannot adjust their procurement strategies based on fluctuating capital structures that determine access to essential public health commodities.”
AREV added: “RUTFs are energy-dense, micronutrient-enriched pastes that have a nutritional profile similar to the traditional F-100 milk-based diet used for inpatient therapeutic feeding programmes and are often made of peanuts, oil, sugar and milk powder.”
On the Canadian Securities Exchange, AREV’s share price fell by C$0.03 (2.38 US cents) or 7.46 per cent to close at C$0.31 (US$0.25) on February 23 for a market capitalisation of C$5.257 million, with 294,393 shares traded.