Under our Specialized Nutrition Division, the Advanced Medical Nutrition business focuses on providing innovative solutions in paediatric nutrition (including food allergies and faltering growth) as well as adult nutrition (addressing age-related frailty and malnutrition due to disease). The Advanced Medical Nutrition product portfolio includes oral, liquid oral and tube-feeding supplements.
In 2018, it launched a new packaging format for its tube-feeds, the OpTri bottle. The OpTri bottle benefits from an improved environmental footprint while nourishing the health of patients by improving their tube-feeding experience and quality of life.
People need to be tube-fed if they cannot eat and swallow independently due to a condition or a disease. Tube-feeding is usually administered through a naso-gastric tube through the nose or a tube through the skin into the stomach.
Why does it matter ?
The OpTri bottle is a key innovation for our Advanced Medical Nutrition portfolio and proof of our commitment to create solutions that improve the experience of patients, care givers as well as the experience of healthcare professionals. The OpTri bottle is designed for improved use-ability, safety and reduced environmental impact. Furthermore, the new processing methods made possible through OpTri, have opened the door to further innovation and continuous improvement of our tube-feeds.
How does it work ?
To make this innovation possible, a new technology was introduced for the manufacturing process of tube-feeding products that replaced Ultra-Heat Treatment (UHT). The new sterilization method, Direct Steam Injection (DSI), offers excellent ways to improve production techniques and product quality. It enables us to produce more complex recipe formulations, accessing a broader range of ingredient and providing better consumer experiences through improved product color which appears less grey and thus more natural.
The introduction of this new technology was also an opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of production processes. UHT technology requires packs to be filled and then heated to the right temperature in a container with water. Using DSI technology is energy efficient, because it uses both the latent and sensible heat available in the steam. It is also water efficient, as there is no more need for containers of water. To manufacture tube-feeds packaged in our OpTri bottle we use 85% less water. This approach has helped us to reduce CO2 emissions during production by 21%. The bottle is recyclable.
How does it create value ?
We met with and listened to patients, care givers and healthcare professionals such as nurses and dietitians to design a new packaging format for our tubefeeds that focuses on the needs of patients. This resulted in the OpTri bottle, a huge improvement in terms of usability, safety and which is also better for the planet.
Some of the most notable benefits of the OpTri bottle are its good grip and easy handling, it has an easy to open flip-top cap, an ergonomic shape and hanging hook all of which improve usability from both the care givers and healthcare professional perspective. The OpTri bottle is also perceived by Healthcare Professionals to be more hygienic because the unique flip top cap requires less handling when opening and connecting.