Personalisation and fortification: DSM APAC’s nutrition head on two key regional strategies for 2020
This is part of the firm’s strategy to fulfil the nutritional requirements of people at all levels of the economic scale.
Anand Sundaresan, Vice President for DSM’s Human Nutrition & Health division in Asia Pacific, outlined his objectives for the year ahead in a recent exclusive interview with NutraIngredients-Asia and FoodNavigator-Asia.
In terms of personalisation, he said: “The costs in relation to personalisation are coming down, especially around diagnostics, while at the same time there is growing interest in a preventive health, especially in more developed Asian markets.”
“Meanwhile, In less developed areas, I think public policy will take a big jump to continue to address micronutrient deficiency and issues like stunting. This will drive a lot more interest in staple food fortification.”
He said that that the move towards more personalised services would be a gradual evolution, with collaboration and partnerships needed to overcome several challenges.
“First there is the measurement piece and diagnostic systems, then you need the data and analytical systems, and then you need to deliver the solution in an affordable way. Finally, we need the feedback loop to show it is working.
“This will require collaboration and partnerships, and our focus remains on providing the right nutritional solutions.”
The firm has inked a number of partnerships in recent years, including with Panaceutics, DeNA Life Science and Mixfit.
2020 will also see DSM double-down on its focus on staple food fortification, where firm previously pioneered unique technology for fortified rice.
This sees vitamins and minerals blended with broken-down rice, and safely “locked in” when new kernels are produced through hot extrusion.
The fortified rice looks, cooks and tastes just like its unfortified counterpart.
It is now using the same technology for another popular Asian staple – lentils.
“We are now looking into fortifying lentils at a broader scale as they are an excellent source of proteins, consumed widely in South Asia and some parts of Africa, but could be made even more nutritious with essential nutrients. This is also in line with global demand for plant-based diets in which pulses are a large component."
In addition to fortification and personalistion, Sundaresan cited early life nutrition, food and beverage reformulation, functional foods and medical foods as ongoing priorities.
“In addition, healthy ageing is something that is very important, and this is reflected in our focus on cognition, joint and eye health,” he added.
“From a science-perspective, we have to work closely with brand owners to understand to find specific value propositions and then educate consumers of the benefits.”
Lastly, he pledged that a cast-iron commitment to sustainability and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, both across products and manufacturing processes, would be at the heart of all future innovations.
The firm recorded a 1.4% energy efficiency improvement year-on-year in 2018, with goal of a further 1% annually until 2030. In addition, 41% of electricity purchased in 2018 came from renewables, with a goal of 75% by 2030.
Meanwhile, 62% of all products sold in 2018 fell under the company’s Brighter Living Solutions (products that have a better environmental and/or social impact than mainstream solutions), with a goal is to increase this to more than 65% by 2021.