Putting the world to rights

We’re living in a wonderful yet slightly topsy-turvy world full of contradictions, where nearly a billion people are obese while two billion are undernourished. A world where a new middle class is hungry for animal (and new plant-based) proteins; where ‘healthier’ people are living longer yet need more help than ever to stay that way. And where the effects of climate change are causing record skin cancers. How can we possibly tackle all these challenges - and create science that benefits the many (not the few)? Well, here are a few examples. 

Today, some two billion people suffer from what’s known as ‘hidden hunger’ - malnutrition caused by everything from climate change to war and poverty. Which is why at DSM we’re using our position as the world’s largest provider of vitamins and micronutrients to help supplement the diets of tens of millions of people in places Africa, Asia and Latin America. For example, our micronutrient sachets like MixMe™ (powdered combinations of vitamins and minerals about the size of a sugar sachet) played a part in supplementing basic food rations for nearly 40 million people in 2017 through our partnership with the UN World Food Programme. Why is this so important? Well-nourished children are 33% more likely to escape the vicious cycle of poverty when they grow up.

Our ingredients and innovations for processed and packaged foods are reducing salt, sugar (and fat) in everything from soups, to dairy products to bread - with no compromise on taste or performance. Maxilact® is a lactase enzyme that cuts sugar in dairy by 20% or more yet retains the natural sweetness, while AVANSYA™ Reb M is our non-artificial sweetener fermented from the stevia plant. ModuMax™ is a taste modulating enzyme that replaces traditional gums and starches in foods to create a sense of indulgence…without the indulgence. Preventase® reduces the amount of potential carconagenic acrylamide in fried starchy products like potato chips by 90%. And the Maxarome® natural yeast taste enhancer reduces salt in products like soups by up to 25%. Whatever the application, we’re helping create food that taste like it should - while making life healthier for all.

We’re one of the world’s leading producers of essential nutrients like vitamins, carotenoids, nutraceuticals and nutritional lipids that keep people of all ages healthy (and happy). Just one important application for our products is helping to fortify staple foods like wheat, maize flour - and rice kernels. Our bright scientists found a way to produce an attractive (white rather than grey) kernel while making the all-important iron content more bio-available.

CanolaPRO™ is an innovation that has transformed previously inedible rapeseed/canola into a tasty and nutritional source of protein that everyone can enjoy. Its potential was unlocked by the bright minds at DSM who developed technology to extract waste from the rapeseed oil production process and turn it into a viable food product that could nourish millions in the future. Today it’s used in a wide range of food - like shakes and protein bars for sports nutrition, weight-management products, food for the elderly - and specialist foods like non-gluten and vegetarian. Healthy food that’s good for people and kinder to the planet.

Our solutions for animal health are making our world safer. For example, DSM eubiotics boost animal health without the need for antibiotics, helping to create high-quality, safe, nutrient-dense protein. Vevovitall® improves gut health in farm animals like pigs, making them healthier and stronger (again, without the need for antibiotics). And we’re also improving the performance of dairy and breeding animals for longer, for our example through our RONOZYME® ProAct product.

At DSM we don’t just look after health on the inside. Our skin care solutions, for example, help keep ageing at bay while safeguarding against the rising threat of skin cancers around the world. Alpafor® is a bioactive ingredient derived from the Edelweiss flowers found high in the Alps. This innovation is not only keeping people everywhere looking and feeling good, it’s also better for our planet thanks to its naturally sourced ingredients. Meanwhile with skin cancer on the increase our family of UV filters - the broadest in the industry - helps create sun screen that’s easy and pleasant to use while going beyond the boundaries of traditional skin protection by tackling the ‘blue light spectrum’ - a short wavelength type of light that could accelerate skin aging.

Our biomedical materials for medical devices benefit some 10 million people from all walks of life, every year. Thanks to their unique bio-based design these materials function and interact with the body safely for longer in everything from super-strong sutures to joint replacements, to artificial hearts. They help create coatings that make instruments easier to implant; and they enable unique drug delivery systems that get medicine to patients in controlled dosages - for example in the human eye. We can now inject a small biodegradable polymer fiber loaded with medicine into the eyeball and then slowly release the medication until the fiber degrades and is absorbed. All in all, a huge boost to patient comfort and safety.

Staying healthy also means working healthy. Some 70% of hand injuries suffered at work could be avoided simply by wearing high-quality protective gloves. And there are none better than gloves made with our Dyneema® material. Not only is it the world’s strongest fiber™ (15 times stronger than steel on a weight-for-weight basis); it enables manufacturers to produce gloves that people actually want to wear – thin, light and silky to the touch, yet delivering extreme cut-resistance for those working in environments ranging from the factory floor to the laboratory. We’re proud to be helping people everywhere avoid injuries (and the general stress that often accompanies them like lost working days).

Nutrition & Health SDGs

Our Nutrition & Health products and solutions address two of the most important SDGs.

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