Nutricia celebrates 125 years of pioneering science and nutritional care

In 1896 a nutritional scientific breakthrough led to the establishment of Nutricia. The German Professor Alexander Backhaus met Dr. Johannes van der Hagen - a Dutch medical doctor and public health inspector - at a medical conference in Berlin and since then, Nutricia’s nutritional solutions have transformed the lives of millions of people around the world.

Professor Alexander Backhaus and Dr. Johannes van der Hagen


At the end of the 19th century, poor nutrition was recognized as one of the main causes of infant mortality in Europe. Mothers unable to breastfeed often resorted to animal milks, not knowing it was not appropriate for feeding infants and could also be a carrier of disease. In his laboratory Prof. Backhaus studied the composition of breastmilk and came up with a formula to feed babies that was more easily digestible than cow’s milk.

Nutricia is born

Dr. Johannes van der Hagen and his brother Martinus, obtained exclusive rights from Prof. Backhaus  to produce the formula at scale in 1896 in the Dutch town, nowadays known as, Zoetermeer. The brothers named their company Nutricia, after Prof. Backhaus’ laboratory the Nutricia Zentrale, derived from the Latin word ‘nutrire’, which means ‘to feed’. Always staying on the lookout for new developments in nutritional science, Nutricia was one of the first to pioneer medical nutrition in the years to come. 

"The commitment to breakthrough nutritional innovations that meet patients’ needs, continues to inspire us every day. We believe medical nutrition can impact people’s health outcomes at times of treatment and recovery and we will continue to champion its power, today and in the future."

Ellen Struif, Global Nutricia Brand Director

Positively impacting the lives of millions of people around the world

The Nutricia portfolio of nutritional solutions supports patients from early life and onwards into old age. Together with partners around the world, Nutricia continues to develop breakthrough nutritional solutions. Click on one of our different areas of expertise in link below, to learn more about the impact on people’s lives during treatment and on the road to recovery.

Pediatric happy boy with guitar image

Nutricia today

Nutricia has a longstanding history of partnering with the healthcare community to ensure nutrition is an integral part of patient care. Most recently Nutricia launched the NutriCOVer program to support independent clinical research and the development of nutritional guidance for the recovery of COVID-19 patients. The program allocated €1m of funding to support investigator-led studies that explore nutritional needs and management of malnutrition during recovery from severe COVID-19 infection.

Nutricia 125 logo image


Nutricia continues to commit for as many people as possible to have access to life-changing and life-saving health outcomes, through our innovative medical nutrition.

Old feeding bottles

A long 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.

Mother walking his son in a wheelbarrow

Discover Nutricia

Inspired by our founders and their early support for mothers and their infants, our nutritional solutions continue to transform the lives of millions of people around the world.