Tribute to Rainer Gross



Tribute to Rainer Gross during the III World Public Health Nutrition Congress in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria


During the III World Public Health Nutrition Congress in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, a tribute to Rainer Gross, name giver of the Rainer Gross Award, took place.

Speakers were Klaus Schümann, Noel Solomons and Erik von Baer.

Klaus Schümann’s speech, Director of the Hildegard Grunow Foundation and friend of Rainer Gross

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Klaus Schümann and I have the privilege to lead you through this Tribute Session for Rainer Gross tonight.
Dr. Rainer Gross died on Sept. 30th 2006, this is 8 years ago, at an age of 61 years. He was UNICEF’s Chief of Nutrition from April 2002 until his untimely death and had focused UNICEF’s global Health and Nutrition strategy on the ongoing “silent emergency of  undernutrition” and its complex causes, including not only food shortages but also access to low education,  health care and economic opportunities. Before he joined UNICEF he served in the field in Indonesia,  Brazil, and Peru as senior nutrition advisor for the German government.

Complete speech

Klaus Schümann’s tribute presentation

Tribute to Rainer Gross 2014

Tribute presentation of Noel Solomons, partner in investigation and friend of Rainer Gross

Transformative and Forward Looking Ideas of Rainer Gross

Rainer Gross had a contrarian vision

Chapter 1: Urban Nutrition
Chapter 2: Alternate Day MNs Supplementation


Complete presentation: Transformative and Forward Looking Ideas of Rainer Gross

Erik von Baer’s tribute speech, project partner und friend of Rainer Gross

We are gathered here today to grant a significant award and to remember Rainer Gross and one of his passions, the Lupins.

Both, Lupins and him, formed a partnership. He did research on them and published the results, and formed teams to put them in praxis.

How did he come across Lupins?
It was the middle of 1972, I was waiting at the Instituto de Agroindustria to talk to the Director about a presentation on Lupins that I was going to give the day after.
In the same waiting room, there were two men that I didn’t know, talking in German about the short-comings of the micro-seaweed project. They agreed that from the nutritious point of view it was good, but the production technique was too sophisticated for Peru at the time.
They were Professor Walter Feldheim and the doctoral candidate Rainer Gross.
When I heard “lack of protein and nutrition”, I joined the conversation and proposed they should replace the high on imported technology micro seaweed with Lupins that are locally produced and consumed in the Andean region.
To stimulate its consumption could improve the nutrition of the children and at the same time create a demand for a product cultivated by Andean farmers.

Together we started with a series of nutritional research and agricultural projects, collections of germplasm, seed production, food source essays, quality control, national and international industrial projects and we even created a development model.
There were some characteristics that differentiated the first project from its successors and from the other projects of that time:
– They were multidisciplinary; that means, starting from the genetic level and reaching to agricultural production, through food elaboration and quality control, nutritional efficiency and even recipes for consumption which promoted its use.
– Its supporter in Peru was not the Ministry of Agriculture, but the Ministry of Health, represented by the Nutrition Institute in Lima. From the beginning this changed the focus; the project addressed a specific need: to fight the lack of nutrients and for that it was necessary to produce protein locally and independent from foreign aid.
– The generated information was spead nationally and internationally through publications, workshops and even in children’s dining halls. It also allowed several doctoral theses, conducted mainly by German universities.
– In order to achieve an international knowledge platform, Rainer and his team organized the first Lupin Congress in 1980 in Peru, which was a great success and which allowed for the foundation of the International Lupin Association ILA, a foundation that is still active today. The next Congress will be held in June 2015 and it is organized by the University of Milan.

Rainer lived and believed in his Lupin research and helped me significantly to produce the first crop of Sweet Andean Lupin (Lupinus mutabilis) INTI. I still remember his pots of selected Lupins, watered by himself on his home’s desk. Another aspect of his devotion to Lupins was his respect for all Andean crops found in a world that we re-discovered. A good example is that big Pre Incanato – Tiahuanaco Pot, were the four crops: corn, potato, quinoa and Lupin, were engrafted.
What’s most amazing about these crops is that the adequate complement of the amino acid pattern found in them comes to be similar in quality to the casein.

How to forget those journeys together through the Peruvian high mountains where we used to dream and discuss about how to advance and convince everybody to put the research results into practice. This way creating demand for and the necessity to transform the Tarwi or Lupin into a cash crop and at the same time a crop that farmers could keep consuming and not only selling.

We were out of time and we still are in many aspects.
Thank you very much.
Erik von Baer

Erik von Baer’s tribute presentation

Erik von Baer and Rainer Gross: Protein production, but how?


Complete presentation: Protein production, but how