Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital and Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) have signed a cooperation pact for "a food development project", for people who are ill and their caretakers.
In a press release issued on Friday, Professor Piyamitr Sritara, MD, Dean of Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, said: "The food development project is our innovation for society. We, together with CPF, set out to produce safe food for patients and offer convenience to patients and their relatives.
“We have fed in-patients with our product and the patients satisfactorily gained strength. Under the cooperation, we will first launch Smart Soup-branded chicken soup with pumpkin and egg, which was the formula of Ramathibodi Hospital's nutrition department. The product will be available to anyone, for the benefits of ill persons and their caretakers."
Driving the cooperation was constraints involved with the preparation of liquid food for the hospital's in-patients who need liquid food or tube feeding.
The preparation process was time-consuming and the output could not meet demand. Meanwhile, "food with full nutrients for patients" is a key in quickly restoring patients' strengths. The university thus sought help from a private company which has capacity in producing safe food, and technology and innovation that can extend product life cycle.
Both parties conducted a joint research to bring the project to life, which reduced the food preparation process for patients' greater convenience.
Associate Professor Surasak Leela-Udomlipi, MD, Director of Ramathibodi Hospital, added that liquid food is generally imported. Aside from the high price, it comes in powder form which must be dissolved with water.
In contrast, the chicken soup with pumpkin and egg that the hospital invented jointly with CPF contains all nutrients necessary for patients' recovery and costs at a much cheaper price. Convenience is also an attractive point, as the soup is ready to eat or load to the feeding tube, which reduces a chance of contamination to some extent.
Another point is the hospital's liquid food has a life as short as 24 hours: it must be stored at 2-6 degrees Celsius at all time. CPF's innovation allows the storage at room temperature and the product can last 12 months. It cuts short the hospital's food preparation process.
Meanwhile, patients and relatives can stock up the food without making frequent visits to the hospital. The soup will be first available at Ramathibodi Hospital's health shop and then at other hospitals of Mahidol University.
Sukhawat Dansermsuk, CPF's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for food business and Co-President, said that CPF is an internationally-recognised safe food producer. Its research team is capable of inventing health food to address the demand of all groups of consumers.
CPF took pride in joining hands with Ramathibodi Hospital to develop products for patients, as this project is deemed a social product that benefits patients, their relatives, physicians and the public health as a whole. To produce good and safe food for society in a sustainable manner, CPF will utilise its advanced production technology in this project. For example, retort technology is applied to extend the soup's life cycle.