Are you familiar with the history and origin of Nutribien? 

Fortified foods are foods that have been supplemented with essential nutrients for the human body, such as vitamins and minerals. These foods are especially important for people who are not getting enough nutrients from their regular diet, especially for those who are at higher risk of nutritional deficiencies, such as children, pregnant women, or the elderly.

In 2013, and thanks to the efforts promoted by doña Isabel Gutiérrez de Bosch, and the cooperation of the Juan Bautista Gutiérrez Foundation (FJBG) team, the need to address the chronic malnutrition problem in Guatemala was tackled. 

As a result of this, the Board of Directors of the Foundation made the decision to focus on this issue starting in San Cristóbal Totonicapán. The idea came about to create Nutribien, a fortified supplemental meal developed and made with the support of CMI Foods, which consisted of a mix of precooked corn, soy and milk, and which contributes a high amount of energy and protein for its consumer.

The process of creating Nutribien

Nutribien, an ‘atole’ type of beverage, was developed after conducting several studies and analyses. The mix is designed for consumption by children 6 months of age and up, as well as by pregnant and breastfeeding women. 

The atole testing process began in 2014. The first sensory tests were performed precisely in San Cristóbal Totonicapán. The Molinos Modernos team, a unit of CMI Foods, oversaw the first preparation. 

The formulation was taken to the office in that region, where pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children, were invited to taste its first formulation, and to give their opinion about its characteristics such as color, smell, flavor and consistency. 

For the test, different traditional flavors were used, such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and banana. However, and to the team’s surprise, none of these flavors was to the liking of the participants, so the decision was made to formulate the atole without added flavors, since its natural flavor was the most pleasant and which most closely resembled local flavors.

Once this testing phase was completed, the acceptance of the atole among women from the region who participate in the Nutrition Program was evaluated. Nutribien was successful as a supplementary drink to children’s food in the “the 1000-day window”, which begins from the moment the child is in its mother’s womb.

The mission of helping to prevent chronic malnutrition has been widely met since then. 

Nutribien at present

Nutribien has evolved with time to always offer the best formulation to its consumers. Today, it is a mixture of wheat flour, precooked corn, soy and milk, specially designed to provide a large amount of energy and protein to its consumers.

Consumption of Nutribien in the form of porridge, following recommendations, gives a child under one year of age one fifth of his energy needs and over 40% of his protein needs.

Thus, the beneficiaries of this product have found more and more creative ways to use  fortified flour to prepare several of their favorite dishes, such as: atole, porridge, empanadas, corn meal chuchitos, pancakes and many other foods.