In Europe, at the end of the 19th century, 1 in 5 babies would die before reaching the age of one. This was attributed in large part to malnourishment.
Mothers would resort to animal milks, in particular cow milk, to feed their babies.
However, it was not well understood that because of its composition, cow milk was not an appropriate choice for feeding infants. Cow milk was also a vector of diseases, putting the babies’ lives at risk.
In conclusion, both these factors contributed to infant mortality at the time.
In 1885, Professor Backhaus pioneered an innovation in infant formula based on his laboratory study of breastmilk. He created a breakthrough formula that was more easily digestible, inspired by breast milk.
This ensured mothers unable to breastfeed had a safe and high quality alternative for their babies.
In 1896, a Dutch medical doctor and Public Health Inspector by the name of Dr. Johannes van der Hagen learned about Professor Backhaus’ invention at a medical conference and was inspired to make his formula more widely available to mothers who couldn’t breastfeed.
Together with his brother Martinus van der Hagen, he founded the new company Nutricia, that would maintain the high levels of control guaranteed to provide families with safe and nutritionally consistent alternatives. In doing so, they positively impacted millions of lives around the world for over 125 years.
While firmly rooted in science, Nutricia was looking for new areas in which to expand beyond infant nutrition.
With the advancement of nutritional science, Nutricia was among the first to recognize the links between nutrition and certain illnesses at key moments in life.
Research and development led to the manufacture of special formulas, such as low-sugar formulas for patients with diabetes, or formulas fortified with iodine for patients with goitre – a swelling of the thyroid gland that was common at the time.
Nutricia now celebrates 125 years of pioneering science and nutritional care!
Since its humble beginnings, Nutricia has always shown a commitment to visionary nutritional research. This has led to the development and delivery of new nutritional solutions for parents, caregivers, and patients all over the world.
Now a part of the Danone group, Nutricia remains focused on developing research-based, life transforming, nutritional solutions to help individuals around the world live longer, healthier lives.
Nutricia has been present in North America since 1983. Since its arrival in North America, Nutricia has been a leader in the field of specialized nutrition. As a part of the Danone Company, Nutricia takes pride in providing research-based products offering unique nutritional qualities, thereby delivering an important part of Danone’s mission: to bring health through food to as many people as possible.
In North America, Nutricia specializes in products that help with: Refractory epilepsy, Food allergies and related conditions, and Metabolic disorders.
Nutricia North America is B Corp™ certified, a badge of sustainability delivered by B Lab. As part of the B Corp™, we have joined a movement of like-minded companies working together to strengthen the role of business in driving social and environmental good for all.
Our mission has roots in our wonderful heritage and will continue to grow as we hone our sights on innovations, collaboration, sustainability, and transparency.
We are, more than ever, here for you and for future generations.
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