Nowhere in the western hemisphere is chronic malnutrition a bigger problem than in Central America. But a promising new technology developed by our partner, Intermark Partners Strategic Management, LLC, is already helping thousands of malnourished children in the area overcome the problem–and the United States government has taken notice.

On April 11, 2013, The United States Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Division awarded a Patent for Humanity Award to Intermark for developing NutraIso®, a technology that isolates, extracts and concentrates rice bran derivatives into nutritional supplements for children and new mothers. Other award winners this year included Procter & Gamble, Microsoft Corporation, DuPont Pioneer, and the University of California Berkeley.

Dr. Glenn H. Sullivan, lead scientist in the development of NutraIso, hopes the recognition will generate new opportunities to alleviate malnutrition in developing parts of the world. “It’s already having a great effect on improving the nutrition of mothers and children in Central America, where malnourishment has been a problem for decades,’ he said.

In pilot studies conducted by Sustainable Nutrition International in Guatemala and El Salvador, participants who took NutraIso supplements for 10 months saw a dramatic overall health increase. Pregnant mothers who took the supplements delivered healthier babies with higher birth weights, and newborn infants achieved greater developmental capacity during their first six months of life.

Perhaps most striking is that the rice bran is not edible in its raw form. “We developed a process to extract edible nutrition from it that is high in antioxidants, nutrients, digestible protein, amino acids, and carbohydrates,” Dr. Sullivan said. “And nearly 40 million tons of rice bran will now be available each year to help reduce malnutrition worldwide.”

To learn more about the award, visit USPTO Patients for Humanity Awards.

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