About the Author
M.G. Venkatesh Mannar is a champion and technology leader in global nutrition with 35 years experience in pioneering effective international nutrition, technology and development initiatives focused on the world's most vulnerable citizens. A chemical engineer and food technologist by training, Mannar served as President of the Micronutrient Initiative (MI) in Ottawa for nearly 20 years until February 2014. In that role Mannar directed the organisation's mission to develop, implement and monitor supplementation and food fortification programs to address malnutrition in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. In 2013, for his leadership in the global fight against malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency Mannar was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the country's greatest civilian honors. He is currently pursuing his research and teaching interests in applying engineering solutions to nutrition as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto. Richard Hurrell graduated in Food Technology from the University of Reading in the UK in 1969 and after a short spell in the food industry took a Masters in Nutrition and a PhD at the University of Cambridge UK under Kenneth Carpenter specializing in Bioavailability (lysine) and the effect of food processing on nutritional quality of foods. He joined Nestle Research in Switzerland in 1978 and became head of the micronutrient group focusing on iron bioavailability and fortification in relation to infant foods. After a one year sabbatical in Kansas University with Jim Cook in 1984, iron bioavailability was extensively studied collaboratively between KU and Nestle using human radioisotope studies and focusing on food factors such as phytic acid, polyphenols and proteins. At the same time, he introduced stable isotope techniques with mass spectrometry at Nestle Research so as to work with children and optimize iron and zinc absorption from infant foods focusing on phytic acid removal. He moved to Institute of Food Science, ETH Zurich in 1994 as the full Professor of Human Nutrition, introducing nutrition into the food science curriculum and setting up a research program based on micronutrient malnutrition focused on the developing world. Human stable isotope studies on iron and zinc absorption in women and children from fortified and biofortified foods, and long term feeding studies in women and children to measure the efficacy of fortified foods formed the basis of this research. He was joint author of the WHO food fortification guidelines (2006,2009) and has worked closely with Harvest Plus, GAIN, IAEA and GAIN to improve micronutrient malnutrition. He has been a GAIN Board member since 2002, ILSI Europe Board since 2010 and was Editor of the International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research 2001-2014. He has some 200 peer reviewed publications with recent interest in the influence of infections on iron bioavailability; the influence of phytases on iron and zinc absorption in infants; the influence of inulin and carotenoids on iron absorption; efficacy of zinc, vitamin A and iron from triple fortified extruded rice; iron absorption from biofortified beans; and the efficacy in women and children of NaFeEDTA fortified margarine and atta flour.He retired as Head of Human Nutrition at the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health at ETH in 2012 taking Professor Emeritus status and continues to work closely with GAIN, WHO, Harvest Plus and other international organizations.