Food giant Nestle is on a global fight against iron deficiency and has recently stepped up this fight by acquiring a new food fortification technology.
The technology called Ferri Pro which uses a novel protein-iron complex and a unique processing method to fortify certain foods without negatively affecting the quality. It is a technology that is still under development but the results of the initial research done by scientists at the Riddet Institute of Research Excellence are positive and show good bioavailability.
Iron deficiency is one of the most severe nutritional deficiencies globally
The World Health Organisation (WHO) thinks iron deficiency is one of the most severe nutritional deficiencies globally with woman and children notably at risk.
Iron deficiency anaemia affected around 1.48 billion people in 2015 with a lack of dietary iron estimated to cause approximately half of all anaemia cases globally. In the same year, anaemia due to iron deficiency resulted in approximately 54,000 deaths - this in a decrease from 213,000 deaths recorded in 1990.
Professor Harjinder Singh, a Riddet Institute director, said:
"The technology was developed to help address the world's most important nutritional deficiency, with over 1.6 billion people suffering from iron deficiency anaemia."
Petra Klassen Wigger, head of nutrition, health and wellness at Nestle research said:
"At Nestle we believe that we have a key role to play in support of global efforts to tackle the global burden of micronutrient deficiencies."
As part of the Nestle fortification policy, the company revealed in 2015 it's commitment to addressing micronutrient malnutrition with its goal to promote foods and beverage fortification at levels sufficient to help to improve and maintain health.