Sector News

Nestlé tackles malnutrition with sorghum-based porridge using valorized ingredients

November 21, 2021
Food & Drink

Nestlé has developed a sorghum-based porridge that upcycles a Milo side stream to fully valorize raw materials and avoid nutrient loss. The sorghum is blended with cereals such as wheat and maize.

The porridge is currently being tested with consumers in Côte d’Ivoire under the Golden Morn brand, ahead of a regional launch in 2022.

“Ensuring that everyone can enjoy affordable, nutritious foods is a priority for us. Our teams developed the recipe for this porridge to suit local nutritional needs and tastes,” says Tesfalidet Haile, head of Nestlé’s R&D Center in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Using a side stream from the company’s factory in Agbara, Nigeria usually discarded during malt production for Milo, helps reduce the cost of ingredients and allows the company to develop a nutritious breakfast option that lower-income families can afford.

The company gets an affordable source of protein and fiber while reducing food waste and nutrient losses, explains Haile. “This is done by using local raw materials and micronutrients,” a Nestlé spokesperson tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

In recent months, Nestlé has launched a wide variety of products that valorize agricultural side streams, across categories ranging from breakfast cereals and confectionery, coffee, water and pet food.

Dispensing necessary carbohydrates and fiber
The sorghum porridge is developed at Nestlé’s R&D Center in Abidjan, using a scientifically validated nutritional concept called GrainSmart Balance to achieve the right balance of carbohydrates and fiber while supporting the immune system.

The Golden Morn porridge launch is part of a broader movement toward using agricultural or manufacturing byproducts to reduce waste and upcycle nutrients. This supports Nestlé’s road to net-zero by 2050.

“Recently, we’ve also launched Lactogen affordable milk powders, Cerevita Sour Porridge in East Africa and Bear Brand fortified milk powders in the Philippines,” says Nestlé’s spokesperson.

Access to affordable nutrition is a global challenge for at least three billion people unable to access adequate food.

The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have created a dire situation for vulnerable consumers in emerging countries and exacerbated key nutrient deficiencies.

In 2020, more than 196 billion servings of micronutrient fortified food and beverages were provided in emerging countries with high vulnerability of deficiencies. This includes the company’s fortified Maggi bouillon cubes in Central and West Africa.

Sidestream valorization still niche
Residual materials found in food processing surplus streams – often categorized as “waste” – can be reused as upcycled ingredients if fair pricing can be ensured.

In this budding market, a current go-to solution for many food manufacturers is to downcycle and sell waste streams as animal feed.

However, this becomes a massive loss when these resources are of premium quality and fit for human consumption.

Non-profit organization Circle Economy flags that F&B producers still require more substantial incentives to valorize all their waste streams, which is an incentive the linear economic system does not provide.

Innova Market Insights highlights that consumer awareness is now centered on doing good for the planet, with the crowning of “Shared Planet” as its Top Trend for 2022. This priority has even overtaken personal health goals, according to the market researcher.

As the consumption of plant-based alternatives began to rise, Nestlé Australia introduced a plant-based version of its cocoa malt beverage, Milo, first introduced in 1934. The new Milo replaced milk powder with soy and oats and the core ingredients are the same as the original Milo – malt, barley and cocoa.

Potato fruit water, a byproduct of the potato starch industry, is also valorized in a business venture led by Danish biotech company Lihme Protein Solutions and Duynie Group, a Dutch upcycling specialist. Water is a good source of new functional proteins.

By Inga de Jong


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