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

| | November 18, 2019

The GLP posts this article or excerpt as part of a daily curated selection of biotechnology-related news, opinion and analysis.

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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