DSM’s MixMe, a multi-micronutrient powder, may improve the nutritional status of populations whose diet is severely limited, according to a new clinical study.
In the study, the micronutrient powder was used to fortify a traditional breakfast of maize porridge that is consumed by South African primary school children. After 23 weeks on fortified porridge, the children’s mean body iron store among the test group was doubled. The prevalence of iron and zinc deficiency was also strongly reduced.
Iron deficiency remains the leading nutrient deficiency in both developed as well as developing countries.
"Trösch et al have shown that MixMe offers iron in a highly bioavailable form,” said Rob Beudeker, Innovation Program Director, DSM Nutritional Products. “Even when a population’s staple diet is high in whole-grain cereals and legumes, essential levels of iron can be made available for digestion by this means.”
“These results will further help DSM to introduce cutting-edge solutions to improve micronutrient nutrition in certain parts of the globe. It could also be important in the global fight against nutritional anemia, as well as in the eradication of hidden hunger,” said Owaldo da Costa e Silva, Senior Director Nutrition Improvement Program.
Consumption of whole-grain cereals and legumes are reported to contribute to poor iron absorption world’s poorest populations due to the presence of an anti-nutrient called phytate, which binds minerals, including iron and zinc, and makes them unavailable for absorption by the human body.
The new MixMe formulation used in the study contains a readily bioavailable form of iron (NaFeEDTA) plus an increased vitamin C dose along with a phytase which is active at stomach pH. Phytase is an enzyme that helps to release the digestible nutrients found in grains and oil seeds.