October 14, 2008 05:21 ET

DSM and WFP win 2008 ICIS Business Innovation Award

HEERLEN, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - October 14, 2008) -

Royal DSM N.V., the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company headquartered in the Netherlands, and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announce that the 2008 ICIS Innovation Awards for Best Business Innovation has been awarded to DSM Nutritional Products and WFP for the MixMe ™ micronutrient powder.

In a joint initiative, DSM and WFP have developed MixMe sachets to provide people in developing countries with micronutrients that can be mixed with food at home. This "home fortification" is a novel approach to the enrichment of food with micronutrients, as food is usually fortified industrially during the processing stage.

This year alone, the MixMe sachets will reach over 250,000 people in Nepal, Kenya and Bangladesh. WFP and DSM plan to substantially increase the coverage area in the coming years to reach millions of people.

The food enriching micronutrient powder MixMe will enable the World Food Programme, the UN's frontline agency for hunger solutions, to bring better food assistance to the hungry poor. In addition to the almost one billion people who are hungry there are close to another billion of people in this world who seem not to suffer from hunger at first glance but are suffering from a deficiency in micronutrients (the so-called "hidden hunger"). These people appear to have enough to eat, but often eat mainly carbohydrate rich foods such as rice or maize which do not provide the essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) needed for good health and therefore they develop all kinds of diseases such as anemia and blindness.

Feike Sijbesma, Chairman of the DSM Managing Board said: "Through various initiatives we show our dedication to improve human health and prosperity by eliminating micronutrient malnutrition. I am very proud of this award. It is a recognition of the hard work of everyone involved in the collaboration between DSM and the UN WFP and in particular in the development of the MixMe sachets and it shows that innovation can make a difference in helping to reduce hidden hunger, still the number one cause of death in the world."

"This is a concrete example of how a UN agency can work with the private sector to jointly develop an innovative product," said Martin Bloem, WFP's Chief of Nutrition. "For just 2.5 US cents per child per a day, we can save countless children's lives by giving them essential vitamins and minerals. But it's more than that. Recent evidence shows that micronutrient deficiency in the first 24 months of life can have irreversible effects on intellectual and physical development. With the MixMe powder, we can help children fulfill their potential and help build a brighter future for entire communities.

DSM and WFP had to overcome several challenges before the sachets could be put to use. The first challenge was to produce a stable and tasteless powder and appropriate packaging to protect the contents from the harsh climatic conditions in many developing countries. The second challenge was to find a suitable packaging facility that could handle the high volumes involved, and the third was to understand and comply with the approval processes of individual governments.

Among the many hundreds of millions of malnourished people, those groups with the highest micronutrient needs include children up to the age of five and pregnant and breastfeeding women. For these groups, the lack of micronutrients can have devastating consequences, causing the death of many women during or shortly after childbirth, irreversible mental and physical impairment to their offspring, and high child mortality due to communicable diseases.

Over 1.1 million child deaths per year are attributed to deficiencies in vitamin A and zinc. A lack of vitamin A weakens the immune system and can cause blindness, while zinc deficiency contributes to stunted growth and weakened immunity in young children.

Since March 2007, DSM has been an official partner of the United Nations World Food Programme. DSM provides WFP with expertise, high nutrient products as well as financial assistance. Besides the well-known humanitarian program SIGHT AND LIFE, DSM has also developed the Nutrition Improvement Program (NIP), providing technical and scientific support for supplementation programs and for the fortification of staple foods with essential vitamins and minerals in developing countries.

The ICIS Innovation Awards, now in their fifth year, are designed to recognize those companies that have made significant steps forward through R&D, with tangible results emerging during 2007 and the early part of 2008. ICIS is the chemical publishing arm of Reed Business Information, part of global publishing group Reed Elsevier.


SIGHT AND LIFE is a non-profit humanitarian initiative of Royal DSM N.V. whose mission is to fight micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries. When SIGHT AND LIFE was first set up in 1986 it focused on vitamin A deficiency. Since 2003, SIGHT AND LIFE's mission has expanded to address other essential micronutrient deficiencies including nutritional anemia. Malnutrition is still an underlying cause of more than 3.5 million deaths per year among children under five years of age. SIGHT AND LIFE actively seeks to end micronutrient malnutrition - also known as "hidden hunger" - by raising awareness of these problems as serious public health issues. More information:

Nutrition Improvement Program

The Nutrition Improvement Program (NIP) of DSM Nutritional Products is dedicated to improving human health and prosperity by eliminating micronutrient malnutrition. The program supports and promotes the addition to staple foods of essential micronutrients (nutrients that cannot be synthesized in the body and are required only in minute quantities daily, such as vitamins, trace elements and most minerals) that are lacking in a population's diet. A global team of committed experts works to eliminate micronutrient deficiencies through customized quality products, scientific and technical expertise, and educational support. NIP plays an important role in the partnership between DSM and WFP. It develops products that are tailored to the individual needs of the WFP beneficiaries. More information:

UN World Food Programme (WFP)

WFP is the UN's front-line food assistance agency and the world's largest humanitarian organization, providing food to an average of 90 million people (including 58 million children) per year. Hunger is still the biggest health threat in the world, affecting 923 million people and claiming 25,000 lives every single day. WFP fights hunger via emergency aid, recovery and rebuilding programs for post-emergency situations, and development projects aimed at helping poor countries strengthen their own ability to reduce chronic hunger. For more information see

DSM - the Life Sciences and Materials Sciences Company

Royal DSM N.V. creates innovative products and services in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences that contribute to the quality of life. DSM's products and services are used globally in a wide range of markets and applications, supporting a healthier, more sustainable and more enjoyable way of life. End markets include human and animal nutrition and health, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, coatings and paint, electrics and electronics, life protection and housing. DSM has annual sales of almost EUR 8.8 billion and employs some 23,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands, with locations on five continents. DSM is listed on Euronext Amsterdam. More information:

For more information:

DSM Corporate Communications                WFP Partnership
Herman Betten                               Communications
tel. +31 (0) 45                             Silke Buhr
5782017                                     tel. +39 06 6513 2198
fax +31 (0) 45                              mob +39 345 227 4900
5740680                                     e-mail

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