Micronutrient fortification

Kids running and playing

Our commitment

Address under-nutrition through micronutrient fortification

 

In many parts of the world, getting vital nutrients from food alone is simply not possible. We are passionate about changing this and are investing globally in research and innovation to create thousands of affordable, nutritious new products. As we fortify accessible choices, we are working hard to ensure they meet local requirements and tastes, and reach millions of people.

Demonstrating our commitment

In 2020, we delivered 196.6 billion fortified servings of food and beverages through popular and affordable products from brands such as Maggi, Bear Brand and Cerevita. Of our popularly positioned products for lower-income consumers, 81% were fortified with at least one of the Big 4 micronutrients.

The Big 4 micronutrients

  • Iron for preventing iron deficiency anemia and maintaining cognitive and physical development.
  • Iodine for optimal brain development and thyroid hormones for a healthy metabolism.
  • Vitamin A for good eye health, growth and development, and a strong immune system.
  • Zinc for growth and development, and a strong immune system.

A study showed our products are used by over 100 million family households in eight countries where young children traditionally lack sufficient essential micronutrients. This reach enables us to provide affordable, effective nutrition solutions.

We also partner with governments, universities, civil society organizations and others globally to help raise awareness around micronutrient deficiencies. Our activities range from delivering education and social marketing campaigns to supporting research in micronutrient deficiencies and increasing micronutrient accessibility.

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Tackling iron deficiency in Africa

Iron deficiency is a pressing issue across Africa, which is why we have launched several initiatives designed to increase consumer awareness of iron-rich foods. 

On World Food Day 2019, we partnered with the First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, to support the launch of the Live Strong with Iron campaign. The three-year campaign was developed to promote awareness, inspire action and drive behavior change around including iron-rich foods in daily diets. 

In 2020, a consumer survey in Ghana revealed that many consumers do not realize how vulnerable they are to iron deficiency anemia. This highlighted both the scale of the challenge to raise awareness and the importance of the Live Strong with Iron’s initiatives.

We also conducted a survey with our Central and West Africa Region (CWAR) employees in October 2020. This showed that the level of awareness about iron-rich food choices within our organization still needs to improve. For this reason, we are supporting further education for employees and will conduct another survey in 2021.

During 2020, we linked the campaign to two additional initiatives:

  • Our food assistance to vulnerable people affected by COVID-19.
  • MyMenu IQ, our unique nutritional quality assessment tool, on Maggi websites across all CWAR countries.

Through MyMenu IQ, we provide iron-related nutrition tips as well as recipes for side dishes containing iron-rich foods.

The Live Strong with Iron campaign has been well received, and will be extended to Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Senegal in 2021.

promoting iron

Fortifying one of India’s favorite noodle products

Small changes made to the right product can sometimes make a big difference. Our Maggi 2-Minute Masala Noodles are enjoyed in about 70% of urban Indian households, with more than 2.5 billion servings eaten every year. In 2017, we fortified the noodles with 15% of the recommended daily iron requirements, as per our Policy on Micronutrient Fortification of Foods & Beverages (pdf, 1.1Mb). Thanks to the popularity of Maggi 2-Minute Masala Noodles, this single small change is making a big contribution to the fight against one of India’s leading micronutrient deficiencies.

At Nestlé Research, we contribute to our global commitment to address under-nutrition through micronutrient fortification by developing new technologies to deliver tasty products with enhanced nutritional value. Our latest work improves the stability of sensitive vitamins like Vitamin A or reactive minerals such as iron using natural ingredients.

Edwin Habeych Group Leader Micronutrients at Nestlé Research

In our pursuit of taste and balance, part of improving the balance is via micronutrient fortification of our more frequently consumed products. Our ambient culinary products in particular provide a solid vehicle to reach vulnerable populations in developing markets, adding nutrients otherwise lacking in diets. We need to continue to drive our fortification efforts at scale with focus on the Big 4 micronutrients. Through innovations, we also address nutritional gaps of macronutrients like proteins and fibers.

Wayne England Head of Food Strategic Business Unit

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