and Evaluation office for the Bureau of Humanitarian Response (BHR), monitored the uniformity, stability and physical availability of vitamin C in the commodities from three selected country programs. In cooperation with the World Food Program (WFP), private voluntary organizations (PVPs), and USAID missions, SUSTAIN collected dry commodity samples in three countries. SUSTAIN also collected information about the local food preparation of the commodities and cooked samples in two countries, and determined vitamin C retention after cooking by testing samples of prepared food collected at recipient sites in these two countries.
The protocol for this activity was reviewed by an Advisory Panel of experts drawn from government, food relief agencies, and the food industry (Appendix B). These experts are knowledgeable in the fortification, stability, and testing of vitamins in these types of foods. This Advisory Panel met twice: once on April 18, 1996, to review the call forward request and sampling strategy, and again on May 17, 1996, to review the protocol. A statistical subgroup of the Advisory Panel, made up of statisticians and quality control experts of the food industry, advised on statistical matters and interpretation of the results (Appendix B). They met on May 3, 1996, to review the statistical plan of the study and to recommend the number of samples to be collected, and again on April 25, 1997, to discuss the statistical analysis of the results. Recommendations and suggestions from these meetings have been incorporated into this report. A protocol was designed and submitted to the Committee of International Nutrition (CIN) of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science. Agreement on the protocol and recommendations by the CIN were presented to USAID in December 1996.