ePap inventor in running for Schwab Foundation award

11 September 2013 - 03:22 By KATHARINE CHILD
Pap. File photo
Pap. File photo
Image: Gallo Images

Johannesburg resident and industrial chemist Basil Kransdorff has been recognised by the World Economic Forum for his invention of ePap, a nutritious soya and maize porridge.

He is a finalist in the global Schwab Foundation 2014 Social Entrepreneur of the Year award.

The foundation has partnered with the WEF to encourage sustainable innovation that improves the lives of people.

Kransdorff said: "Should we win, we will be invited to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in November to make a presentation."

Kransdorff used chemistry to design a pre-cooked porridge with 29 "food state" minerals that can be well absorbed by the body.

His company, Econocom Foods, sells between 500000 and two million ePaps a month to NGOs and religious organisations.

He said: "It goes into 15 countries across Africa."

Wits medical school researchers conducted a study to assess ePap's impact on malnourished people in Alexandra township last year.

The researchers found malnourished children on ePap had increased iron levels after a month, which had not happened "after more than five years of iron fortification of wheat and maize flour in South Africa".

The research article concluded: "Despite the short period of intervention, there were statistically significant improvements in key micronutrient levels, wellbeing and energy, hand-grip strength, and certain clinical indicators."