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Foods fortified with nutrient-dense microparticles can help battle ‘hidden hunger,’ study shows

| | November 18, 2019
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Staple foods and seasonings like flour and salt could be made more nutritious with a new technology that borrows from the pharmaceutical industry, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Two billion people worldwide suffer from so-called “hidden hunger” — they may eat enough calories to keep hunger at bay but don’t get nearly enough micronutrients like iron, calcium and Vitamins A and B.

Hidden hunger is often the result of a diet that relies too much on staple carbohydrates like corn, rice and cassava that are low-cost and filling but not very nutritious and not enough on nutrient-packed fruits, vegetables and animal products.

The study …. offers a possible solution: Cram the nutrients into tiny packets that can withstand cooking but dissolve easily in the digestive system.

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The packets are made from the same kind of consumable plastic as the coating on pills, but they’re “smaller than a grain of sand,” says Ana Jaklenec, a researcher at MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, who helped author the study.

Jaklenec says the packets — the researchers call them “microparticles” …. [e]ach might contain up to four different kinds of nutrients …. including iron, zinc, iodine and vitamins A, B12, C and D.

Read full, original article: Could ‘Hidden Hunger’ Be Conquered With A Particle The Size Of A Grain Of Salt?

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