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A rich heritage of Life

Transforming Nutrition

In 1896, an entrepreneurial approach to the latest nutritional science led to the establishment of Nutricia, changing the lives of millions of people around the world.

Old feeding bottles from Nutricia

Our story

Wet nurses feeding newborns

Poor infant nutrition - a 19th century common cause of infant mortality across Europe

At the end of the nineteenth century one in five infants died before the age of one, with poor nutrition recognized as one of the main causes1-2. Many mothers struggled to breastfeed and were forced to use animal milks, particularly cow’s milk, to feed their babies. It was not known at the time that the composition of cow’s milk was not appropriate for feeding infants and could also be a carrier of disease. These two factors contributed to high infant mortality across Europe.

An important discovery and a breakthrough in nutritional innovation

In 1885, based on his laboratory-based study of breastmilk, Professor Backhaus pioneered an innovation in infant formula: a breakthrough formula inspired by breast milk. This more easily digestible formula ensured mothers unable to breast feed, had a high quality and safe alternative they could trust.

Johannes van der Hagen & Professor Backhaus
Cuijk factory 1924

Nutricia is born

In 1896 Dr. Johannes van der Hagen, a Dutch medical doctor and Public Health Inspector, learned about Professor Backhaus’ and together with his brother Martinus van der Hagen, he founded the new company, Nutricia.

Beyond infant nutrition and the start of medical nutrition

Always strongly rooted in science, Nutricia quickly expanded its focus beyond infant nutrition.

Medical advances had discovered important links between nutrition and many common illnesses at key moments in life and as such, Nutricia was among the first to pioneer the concept of ‘medical nutrition’. This led to the development of special milks, including low-sugar solutions for diabetic patients and milks fortified with iodine for goitre sufferers - a swelling of the thyroid gland that was particularly prevalent at this time.

Nutricia advertisement tube feeding image

Nutricia today – Life-Transforming Nutrition at every stage of life

From its earliest days Nutricia has distinguished itself through a commitment to leading-edge nutritional research that has led to the discovery, development, and delivery of breakthrough nutritional solutions for parents, patients and carers all around the world.

Now established as a key healthcare brand of Danone, Nutricia has intensified its focus and expertise on developing research-based, life-transforming, nutritional solutions to help people around the world live longer, more joyful, and healthier lives.

Cuijk factory 2019

Nutricia timeline

A heritage of innovation

Our story starts back in The Netherlands in 1896, when a doctor, a public inspector and a salesman came together to realise the potential of medical nutrition. Over a century later, Nutricia continues to pioneer nutritional solutions that help people live longer, healthier lives.


New Dietetic App launched, using the latest digital technology to support HCPs to develop nutrition regimes for their patients.

Danone Wexford became the first Carbon Neutral infant formula production plant in the world to be certified by the Carbon Trust


Launch of Nutrison Protein Intense, nutrition support to meet the needs of critically ill patients


Launch of PKU GMPro, Nutricia's first protein substitute based on glycomacropeptides. 

 Fortisip Compact Protein launched - the first high protein, low volume oral nutritional supplement for adults


Neocate Junior launched


Fortini Compact Multi Fibre launched - the first high protein, fibre containing, low volume oral nutritional supplement for paediatric patients


Inspired by 40 years of early life research, Nutricia develops a new infant formula, Aptamil Profutura 


Launch of Nutrison Protein Advance, a high protein tube feed designed for use in the dietary management of critically ill patients


Our understanding of breast milk inspires Aptamil with Pronutra+ our unique blend of ingredients. 


Launch of Souvenaid, a nutritional innovation designed for use in the dietary management of early Alzheimer's disease.


Complan and Complan Shake become part of the Nutricia portfolio


Launch of Fortisip Compact, the first low-volume sip feed.


Nutricia Care launched in the Republic of Ireland, supporting the delivery of excellent services to residents in nursing homes

Fortisip Extra launched, the first sip feed providing 100% RNI in two bottles


Nutricia becomes a part of Danone, strengthening its global mission


KetoCal is launched, the first nutritional product designed to be used as part of the ketogenic diet for patients with refractory epilepsy


Fortini sip feed range for children is launched and we extend the ONS range with the introduction of Diasip specifically designed for patients with Diabetes


First to introduce our unique blend of short and long chain oligosaccharides (scGOS/lcFOS) to infant formula in the ratio of 9:1. Cubitan is launched, the first nutritional product designed for patients with chronic wounds


Infatrini high energy infant feed is launched


First to move from glass bottles to a collapsible foil pack for tube feeding products


Neocate Advance is launched, the first amino-acid formula for managing cow’s milk allergy in children aged one and older


First to develop a paediatric range


Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs) discovered in breast milk.


Nutricia Clinical Care enters the Irish market and we develop the first formula for infants with food intolerances


First pre term formula 

Our research into breast milk’s effects on healthy growth leads to the development of a formula nutritionally tailored for preterm infants


Nutrison is introduced, a ready-to-use complete tube feed


First product for PKU launches


Our first research centre opens: Nutricia R&D is born in The Netherlands.


Nutricia pioneers the concept of medical nutrition. The first product is developed to help people with diabetes and the first nutritional product for those suffering from goitre (a thyroid condition linked to a lack of iodine in the diet).


Nutricia is born. Our founders named their enterprise ‘Nutricia’ after Professor Backhaus’ laboratory, the ‘Nutricia Zentrale’, which derived its name from the latin word ‘nutrire’ (‘to feed’).


Professor Backhaus filed a patent for his innovation in infant milk formula: a more easily digestible formula inspired by breast milk, saving the lives of thousands of babies all around the world.

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