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Foods for Special Medical Purposes

From children with food intolerances and inherited metabolic diseases to those with chronic diseases related to ageing, a large number of patients use FSMPs.

Managing the patient’s disease, disorder or medical condition from a dietary perspective

  • Medical nutrition products, also known as Foods for Special Medical Purposes (FSMPs), are used in all healthcare settings across Europe.
  • They are used by those with chronic medical conditions, or people suffering or recovering from serious illness, and represent a vital element of patient care. 
  • Around 40% of adult hospital patients in the EU are malnourished; a burden which cost estimates put at 120 billion euro. FSMPs play a vital role in helping to managed disease-related malnutrition in patients in a range to healthcare settings and can help to reduce hospital stays.
  • Medical nutrition products are also used in infants and children who have special nutritional requirements resulting from a disease or medical condition. Around 300,000 children in the EU will require foods for special medical purposes in these early stages of life when supporting nutritional intake is critical to growth and development.

What we do

  • Foods for special medical purposes either supplement or replace the diet entirely to provide patients with the essential nutrients that they need to survive and recover.
  • They are consumed across all healthcare settings - in hospitals, care homes, clinics and in private homes - under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
  • These products play a key role in battling malnutrition when patients are ill for extended periods of time, for example those recovering from stroke or with severe food allergies. Until these patients can resume a normal diet, it is essential that they receive appropriate balanced nutrition.
  • Foods for special medical purposes are also made specifically for low birth-weight infants and pre-term infants. who often have special nutritional requirements which cannot be met by breast milk or standard infant formula alone.

A closer look at our products

We develop and produce a range of medical nutrition products that help patients in the dietary management of a wide variety of medical conditions, for example food allergies, weight loss during cancer treatment, stroke and neurological disorders.

There are three different kinds of foods for special medical purposes:

  • Nutritionally complete foods with a standard nutrient formulation, which can be used as a sole source of nutrition in patients to provide the total daily nutritional requirement. They may be administered via a feeding tube where patients are unable to take foods orally.
  • Nutritionally complete foods with a nutrient-adapted formulation which can be used to meet the specific nutritional requirements of a disease, disorder or medical condition. They can be used as a sole source of nutrition in patients to provide the total daily nutritional requirement. They may be administered via a feeding tube where patients are unable to take foods orally.
  • Nutritionally incomplete foods which are not suitable to be used as the sole source of nourishment. The “nutritionally incomplete FSMP” are products that cannot be used for total diet replacement for the patient but provide specialised nutritional support– for example FSMP for use in inherited metabolic disorders. They are an essential part of the toolkit used by Healthcare Professionals to tailor dietary management to address individual patient needs.

FACTS & FIGURES

About 5% of turnover is invested in research:

the food industry average is 0,53%

The annual turnover of the specialised nutrition industry across the European Union (including exports) is around €24bn

The specialised nutrition industry is a world leader:

each year, exports total around €8bn
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