Nestle acquires New Zealand technology to fight iron deficiency

NEW ZEALAND – Global food giant, Nestle has acquired a novel technology developed by New Zealand scientists to help tackle iron deficiency, one of the world’s widely spread nutritional deficiencies.

Called FERRI PROT, the technology encompasses novel techniques that looks to address iron deficiency while preserving product quality.

It was developed by researchers at the Riddet Institute Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), Massey University, with an aim to address the impact of diseases such as anaemia which has found prevalence in most of the populations around the world.

“At Nestlé we believe that we have a key role to play in support of global efforts to tackle the global burden of micronutrient deficiencies.

Through this collaboration with Massey University, we will have access to an innovative technology that enables us to effectively fortify our foods and beverages without compromising the quality and taste,” said Petra Klassen Wigger, Head of Nutrition, Health and Wellness at Nestlé Research.

Dealing with global problem

Iron deficiency anaemia arises when the balance of iron intake, iron stores, and the body’s loss of iron are insufficient to fully support production of erythrocytes.

It rarely causes death, but the impact on human health is significant, prevalent in major portions of the population in underdeveloped countries.

Women and children are particularly at risk for iron deficiency, and if left untreated it can cause serious mental and physical harm, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

This is part of Nestle’s Creating Shared Value both for our shareholders and for society by helping the development of thriving and resilient communities, and on stewarding the planet’s natural resources.

Nestlé fortifies affordable foods and beverages, like condiments and noodles, cereals and children’s milks and expects to reach millions of children and families.

“We developed the technology to help to address the world’s most important nutritional deficiency, as over 1.6 billion people are suffering from iron deficiency anaemia.

However, our goal was to not only address iron deficiency, but to address it without impacting product quality,” said Harjinder Singh, Director of the Institute and distinguished professor, who also led the research team at Massey University.

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