To bring two phytase-based market driven food products to India and Nigeria – the largest consumer markets in South Asia and Africa.
Approximately four billion people live primarily on a plant-based diet, out of which 50% suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. High levels of phytic acid in plants is one of the main reasons of the deficiency because it prevents absorption of critical micronutrients, leading to mineral deficiencies. Additionally, phytic acid hampers amino acid digestibility and, ultimately, causes malnutrition. Phytase, an evidence-based solution, degrades phytic acid and increases the absorption of calcium, zinc, iron, and other minerals, and improves the quality and digestibility of amino acids.
When implemented at scale, phytase-enriched foods are expected to reduce iron deficiency prevalence among women of reproductive age (WRA) by 30%. Despite strong evidence, addition of phytase in human foods is a novel intervention. Hence, over four years, SAL, in collaboration with food companies and phytase manufacturers, will: