2012 – Nutriset wins inovation Award for its Use of Industrial property as a lever for development
Along with the French Institute of Research and Development (IRD), Nutriset believes that patents can be a tool that promotes the nutritional autonomy of developing countries. The reasoning is pragmatic: countries that are most affected by the scourge of malnutrition have no or very limited access to innovation. Nutriset and the IRD are therefore giving local non-governmental organizations and manufacturers in developing countries access to our patented technologies with the goal of fostering sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship. Accordingly, we make the use of our intellectual property rights available via two separate systems: Joining the PlumpyField® network, or subsribing to the Patent Usage Agreement via a simplified online system.
2011 – Nutriset, 25 years old Anniversary
Founded on 1st of May 1986, the company celebrated, in 2011 and 2012, its 25th anniversary by opening a year of reflection, internally and externally on the meanings of the company. Throughout the year, major events punctuated the anniversary. Two events In particular: On May 6, Jacques Attali delivered the inaugural lecture of the 25 years old birthday of Nutriset, and on October 12 in Paris, an International Nutriset Symposium on Innovation, Corporate values and Nutritional autonomy in developing countries has been hosted. The closing date in April 2012 highlighted the will to pursue further this collective reflexion in the fight against malnutrition. See the complete anniversary program by clicking here
In February, launch of the ZincField network, to ensure production of ZinCfant® dispersible zinc sulphate tablets as close as possible to the populations most affected by acute diarrhoea, the second biggest cause of mortality in children under the age of five. The first partner to join Nutriset and LP Rodael was Zenufa Laboratories in Tanzania.
Five new partners in developing countries joined the PlumpyField® network, based in Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, India and Ghana. In the United States, in partnership with the Industrial Revelation foundation, Nutriset created Edesia, a non-profit organisation with a remit to manufacture Plumpy® -type products, but, above all, foster research for the development of new nutritional solutions and support the implementation or expansion of production capacities in developing countries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) published the Joint statement on the community-based management of severe acute malnutrition. According to this document, 80% of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition can be treated at home with ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs), with Plumpy’Nut® being one possible form.
Launch of Plumpy’Doz®, a nutritional supplement designed to prevent acute malnutrition in high-incidence regions. Used by the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in a district of Niger, Plumpy’Doz® significantly reduced the seasonal malnutrition peak.
Support for a community production project for Plumpy’Nut® by the NGO International Medical Corps (IMC) in Northern Uganda. Similar projects were supported by Nutriset in Burkina Faso and Southern Sudan.
Nutriset and LP Rodael became the special UNICEF suppliers for ZinCfant® dispersible zinc sulphate tablets to treat diarrhoea.
Launch of Plumpy'Sup®, a ready-to-use food designed for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition.
In May, the company Hilina Enriched Foods Processing Center, based in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, joined the PlumpyField® network.
During the food crisis that hit Niger during the course of 2005, Médecins Sans Frontière treated over 60,000 severely malnourished children, with a recovery rate of more than 90%, thanks to its strategy of out-patient home treatment with Plumpy’Nut®, with only complicated cases being hospitalised. In the immediate aftermath of this widely publicised operational success, the majority of NGOs working to combat severe acute malnutrition adopted this community-based approach using RUTFs, and the demand for Plumpy’Nut® rose sharply.
Launch of the Plumpy’Nut® in the Field network, since renamed PlumpyField®. Capitalising on Nutriset’s experience in the sharing of its industrial expertise, this network of partners aims to guarantee the direct production of Plumpy’Nut® close to the regions most affected by malnutrition, in accordance with international quality standards. The first members of the network were located in Niger (STA), Democratic Republic of Congo (Jongea) and Malawi (Project Peanut Butter).
In March, WHO included zinc in the 14th edition of its Model list of essential medicines.
2004 – Nutriset and LP Rodael launch the ZinCfant® brand, naming the dispersible zinc sulphate tablets
In a joint statement on the clinical management of acute diarrhoea published in May, WHO and UNICEF recommended the use of zinc, in combination with oral rehydration salts (ORS). In September, Nutriset and LP Rodael launched the ZinCfant® brand of dispersible zinc sulphate tablets, meeting international quality standards. Since then, ZinCfant® has been supplied to around fifty countries via UNICEF, other humanitarian partners or Ministries of Health.
Launch of QBmix®, a nutritional supplement designed to prevent the nutritional deficiencies that are common in emergency situations, particularly vitamin C, B1 and niacin deficiencies (which can cause scurvy, beriberi and pellagra, respectively). QBmix® is a highly concentrated vitamin and mineral paste designed to be mixed in with the family meal.
First technology transfer trial for the production of dispersible zinc tablets in which the taste of the zinc is masked, in Bangladesh, in partnership with a pharmaceutical company and the ICDDRB (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh).
In August, Steve Collins, a physician specialising in nutrition, published an article in The Lancet in favour of the community-based therapeutic care of severe acute malnutrition through ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF). He based his approach on the protocol for the non-hospital treatment of people suffering from severe acute malnutrition without medical complications that he had set up the previous year in Ethiopia within the NGO Concern Worldwide. The full results of this trial were presented in a scientific publication in The Lancet in 2002.
In response to a request by the World Health Organisation, Nutriset joined forces with Laboratoire Pharmaceutique Rodael (LP Rodael) to develop dispersible zinc tablets for the treatment of acute diarrhoea in combination with oral rehydration salts (ORS). Nutriset and LP Rodael developed a tablet that disperses in under 45 seconds in 5 ml of drinking water or breast milk, masking the taste of the zinc (used as an emetic up until the start of the 20th century) with vanilla flavouring.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) published Management of severe malnutrition: a manual for physicians and other senior health workers, which recommends treatment using F-100 and F-75 therapeutic milks.
The first large-scale use of Plumpy’Nut® by MSF in Bahr el-Ghazal, at a time when famine was sweeping through this province of Southern Sudan.
The first field trials were conducted with Plumpy’Nut® in the Kanem region of Chad by Action Contre la Faim with the cooperation of the Chad Ministry for Health. Comparative studies were conducted to assess the acceptability and efficacy of Plumpy’Nut® versus F-100 milk. A first article was published in The Lancet in 1999.
Nutriset and the IRD jointly filed the patent related to an innovative technological process about high energy foods or nutritional supplements, their stability, preparation method and uses, such as Plumpy’nut® in France in November. It was extended to other countries the following year and is now in force in some 35 countries.
First trial of production of Plumpy’Nut® in a developing country, in Senegal. Over the following years, Nutriset supported a number of local production initiatives on a cottage-industry scale, in Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Sudan, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, etc.
André Briend and Michel Lescanne invented Plumpy’Nut®, the first ready-to-eat nutritional paste for nutritional rehabilitation in severe acute malnutrition (Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, or RUTF). Production was initially subcontracted to an industrial bakery.
Nutriset developed F-75 therapeutic milk (for the initial treatment phase of severe acute malnutrition), ReSoMal (sachet of ready-to-dilute powder to make an oral rehydration solution exclusively destined for people suffering from severe acute malnutrition) and therapeutic CMV (mix of minerals and vitamins for reconstitution with other ingredients, therapeutic milks and rehydration solutions destined for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition). These products have been used in Mozambique, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
In parallel, Nutriset began research to find an alternative to therapeutic milks, more suitable for the conditions of use on the ground and capable of being directly produced in developing countries. Pancakes, doughnuts, biscuits: André Briend (a physician specialising in nutrition who at the time was working at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)) and Michel Lescanne worked together to develop several variants of renutrition products in solid form. Ultimately, they were all discarded since they did not meet the requirements of good shelf-life, pleasant taste or logistic simplicity.
With the encouragement of Epicentre/MSF, Michael Lescanne met in Paris with international nutrition researchers, including Dr. André Briend, a physician specializing in nutrition who was working with the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD), and Dr. Michael Golden, an English nutrition researcher, and the leaders of several NGOs working to reduce global malnutrition (MSF, ACF) and reached consensus on a nutritional rehabilitation protocol using a high-energy milk powder containing 100 Kcal per 100 ml as a new treatment to stabilize children suffering from extreme malnutrition. A few months later, Drs. Golden and Briend published this protocol in the medical journal The Lancet Treatment of malnutrition in refugee camps, by Mike Golden and André Briend).
During the Paris meeting, Michel Lescanne, proposed developing a product on an industrial scale that would not require and preparation or mixing and therefore would simplify the work of NGOs on the ground. This led to the introduction of ready-to-dilute F-100 therapeutic milk later in the year. Successfully tested by Action Contre la Faim in Rwanda in August 1993, F-100 therapeutic milk was quickly adopted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Concern and MSF.
A 32-year-old Michel Lescanne, founded Nutriset with the mission of: “focusing on research in the field of humanitarian nutrition, developing innovative solutions and acting as an interface between the worlds of humanitarian aid, nutritionists and food industry technologies”.
The early years of Nutriset were spent exploring several avenues (study of maize consumption in Mali, etc.).
The French Red Cross transported 6 million protein bars made by Nova to Mauritania, Mali, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and Niger. This aid operation was called Operation Sahel 84: trucks of hope.
Médecins du Monde (MDM), a well-known non-governmental organization working to combat hunger, tested Novofood for the first time during a famine in North-East Uganda. In 1983 and 1984, MDM used a revised version of Novofood when famine struck in Uganda.
Michel Lescanne wrote his final dissertation at the end of his agricultural engineering studies on the subject of the feasibility of a nutritional biscuit for populations in developing countries. He then began his career working in the R&D Department at Nova, a dairy products company managed by his father, and contributed to the development of Novofood, a nutritional bar.