02/11/2011 10:53 GMT | Updated 02/01/2012 05:12 GMT

Kate Middleton And Prince William At Unicef Copenhagen (Pictures)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been offered a taste of a special high-protein peanut paste which is sent to malnourished children in Africa.

William and Kate arrived at the Unicef emergency supply centre in Copenhagen to view the effort to distribute food and medical supplies to east Africa.

They were given a briefing on the crisis threatening the region and given details on nutrition and food for people in the area.

The duke took a fingerful of the paste before passing it on to the duchess, who declined to taste it and passed it over to Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, who accompanied them on the visit.

A spokesman for St James's Palace said the visit was instigated by the duke and duchess who have known about the Unicef supply centre for some time and wanted to do more to promote the East African cause, so suggested a visit to the Danish couple.

He said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have personal links in Kenya - they have friends there, they got engaged there, they've visited many times and they've followed the tragedy unfolding not only on the news but also from people they know on the ground.

"The two couples felt they wanted to do something more to bring the profile of the tragedies back into the public domain."

Severe food shortages in east Africa are affecting more than 13 million people and the royal party hopes to maintain global attention on the crisis, which is worsening with more areas expected to be declared in famine over the next few months.

Currently, 320,000 children in east Africa are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and are at imminent risk of death without immediate assistance.

Unicef's emergency supply centre in Copenhagen is a worldwide co-ordination centre for nutrition and other emergency supplies reaching children in crisis around the world. After the briefing the two royal couples were taken into the supply centre's warehouse, which is the size of three football pitches, where they helped to pack boxes.