Nestlé launches fortified dairy drink in Pakistan to tackle micronutrient deficiencies

16 May 2022

Nestlé is targeting micronutrient deficiencies with Bunyard Iron+, a fortified dairy-based drink that provides a source of iron that it says is “three times more absorbed in the body when compared to existing available sources."

The Swiss conglomerate launched this product in Pakistan where it says where one out of two children are deficient in iron.

Nestlé launches fortified dairy drink in Pakistan to tackle micronutrient deficiencies

The proprietary iron source is based on FERRI-PROTM, a technology originally developed by Riddet Institute, Massey University in New Zealand and acquired by Nestlé in January 2019.

Micronutrient deficiencies and hidden hunger 

A lack of essential vitamins and minerals is known as hidden hunger. Fortifying staple foods by adding nutrients is a method to tackle the problem of micronutrient deficiencies.

In countries around the world, nutritional deficiencies hinder growth, weaken immune systems and stunt development. According to the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), some of the most common micronutrient deficiencies result from a lack of iron, zinc, folate, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin B12.

Swiss food manufacturer Nestlé has targeted several of these missing micronutrients with recent product launches. In addition to the fortified dairy drink launched in Pakistan, the company debuted Nestlé Everyday dairy powder in eastern and southern Africa. The product contains calcium, iron, vitamins and zinc, and Nestlé said that the locally-manufactured product costs about 20% less than alternative options. In India, the corporation also sells Maggi 2-Minute Masala Noodles, which it fortified with 15% of the daily iron requirements.

"Both these new innovations are part of our efforts to address affordable nutrition by providing safe and high-quality products to meet dietary needs and taste preferences around the world," Mayank Trivedi, Nestlé’s head of the dairy strategic business unit said in a statement.

Combating micronutrient deficiencies

Insufficient availability, lack of affordability and a dearth of nutritional knowledge all contribute to inadequate diets in low- and middle-income countries, according to GAIN. 

Eighty-one percent of Nestlé’s products are fortified with at least one of the Big Four micronutrients: iron, iodine, vitamin A and zinc. In 2020, the company provided over 196 billion servings of fortified food globally. Nestlé has had a policy on micronutrient fortification since the year 2000

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