Nutricia pioneers its first ever plant-based medical nutrition drink

Nutricia has launched its first plant-based, ready to drink, oral nutritional supplement, Fortimel PlantBased Energy, specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of people who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition due to illness.

Described as “nutritionally complete”, it is a blend of high-quality plant protein made from pea and soy sources and is suitable for vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diets as well as for patients with cow’s milk protein allergy.

The launch comes at a time when the number of people opting for a plant-based diet is growing: one third of Europeans have chosen a flexitarian diet.

Explaining the need for plant-based medical nutrition options during the ESPEN 2022 Congress Dr. Anne Holdoway, a registered dietitian from the UK, said nutrition is not just about the nutrient, it is  also has many connotations in life, about the lives we lead, the interaction with other people, and respecting values and preferences.

“This is equally true in medical nutrition, where the importance of individualised nutritional care that is in line with people’s lifestyle preferences is very important,” Holdoway said. “To provide this kind of individualised nutritional care, plant-based options are a welcome evolution of medical nutrition.”

Nutricia highlighted a recent study conducted in the UK among a group of patients living in the community with or at risk of malnutrition, demonstrated Fortimel PlantBased Energy significantly improved protein and energy intake, and was well tolerated, over a four-week period. Furthermore, adherence to the nutritional intervention over the course of the study was 94%. Ensuring good adherence to medical nutrition patients have been prescribed is a key factor in promoting improved patient outcomes, according to the study.

“We believe everyone should feel empowered to follow their dietary preferences especially in moments when they need specific medical nutritional support,” said Manuela Borella, vice president, global plant-based strategy & business acceleration for Nutricia’s parent company Danone. “And with the growing number of adults embracing a plant-based diet we are delighted to pioneer our first plant-based medical nutrition drink meeting the needs of patients with malnutrition and a plant-based lifestyle.”

Nutricia is launching Fortimel PlantBased Energy in two flavours – a blend of Mango and Passion Fruit flavours, and Mocha, a blend of Coffee & Chocolate flavours – providing healthcare professionals with more options alongside the existing range of dairy-based Fortimel oral nutritional supplements.

The new product is now available in The Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Czech Republic. It will be available in other European countries later in 2023.

Fortimel PlantBased Energy is a Food for special medical purposes for the dietary management of disease related malnutrition. It must be used under medical supervision.

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