Quality standards regulator, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has granted the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) certification to Cognito® Instant Micronutrient Powder (Cognito® MNP) produced by Micronutrient Laboratories Limited (MLL).

SON MANCAP certification follows a thorough factory inspection and the laboratory analysis ofproduct samples that prove conformity “to the requirements of NIS 1059:2019 and other relevant standards”.

Tersoo I Orngudwen, Director of Product Certification Department, signed for SON Director General the notice conveying the approval to Kenny Acholonu, the Chief Innovation Officerof Micronutrient Laboratories Limited.

Cognito® MNP is a well-formulated single-serve blend of 15 essential micronutrients (10 vitamins and five minerals). It is a free-flowing powder thatis conveniently packed in 1gram affordable sachets to improve the nutritional content of most staple foods.

Users add Cognito® MNP to semi-solid foods and porridges at the point of eating and at a temperature conducive to feeding the child.A sachet of Cognito® MNP is sufficient to provide 100% recommended nutrient intake (RNI) for infants and young children within the age range of six months to 59 months.

Research has shown that most complementary staples for children six months to 59 months (6months to 5 years) have little nutritional value and do not provide adequate micronutrients to meet their daily recommended intake.

Users add Cognito® MNP to complementary food for children after the first six months of exclusive breastfeeding. The addition of vitamins and minerals to enrich the nutrient content of food is one of the intervention strategies adopted by the Federal government to tackle malnutrition.

Micronutrient Laboratories Limited launched its own brand of MNP called Cognito® MNP at the 44th annual AGM and scientific conference of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) in 2020. Cognito® MNP is a product and brand designed to meet a pressing need of tackling infant malnutrition in Nigeria.

Cognito® MNP has witnessed rapid growth on the back of acceptance by institutional buyers, notably the Federal Ministry of Health and other MDAs at federal and state government levels.

UNICEF states that Nigeria has the second-highest burden of stunted children globally, with a national prevalence rate of 32 per cent of children under five. An estimated two million children in Nigeria suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), but the country reaches only two out of every ten children affected with treatment.

Acholonu said that the award of the Mandatory Conformity Assessment (MANCAP) by the SON for Cognito® Micronutrient Powder (Cognito® MNP), was “based on the NIS standards, anchored on our Food Safety Management System.”

SON MANCAP certification follows a factory inspection and laboratory analysis of product samples that prove conformity “to the requirements of NIS 1059:2019 and other relevant standards.”

Acholonu is an internationally renowned scientist who holds three patents in the United States of America (Refer to page 66 of Black Inventors written by Keith C. Holmes, and published by Global Black Inventors Research Project Inc. Brooklyn New York, 2008) and two other patents in Nigeria.

He has 40 years of experience working in leading-edge organisations renowned for outstanding contributions.They include the American Cyanamid Corporation, F. Hoffman La Roche, Bio-Organics Nutrient Systems Ltd which he founded and is now leading Micronutrient Laboratories Ltd.He was awarded a Life Member of the Nigerian Institute of Food, Science and Technology (NIFST) in 2019 and was enlisted as a Fellow of the African Scientific Institute in the year 2020.

Speaking on the certification, Rachael Amadasun, Technical and Regulatory Compliance Manager, said that Micronutrient Laboratories Ltd. applies five distinct human capital competencies in managing its production ofCognito® MNP.

According to her, the Micronutrient Laboratories’ competencies are technical, regulatory and compliance, quality control, food safety, production, and supply chain.

“We follow a rigorous process of good manufacturing practice in our factory. Micronutrient Laboratories goes above minimum standards to ensure that we offer high-quality products suitable for infant nutrition,” Amadasun added.