BASF, Teck Team Up to Fight Zinc Deficiencies Abroad

The two companies plan to develop affordable zinc fortification solutions for developing countries.

BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany) and Teck Resources Ltd. (Vancouver) announced at the World Economic Forum their intent to develop affordable zinc fortification and supplement solutions for developing countries.

Zinc deficiency accounts for an estimated 800,000 deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization.

As part of a three-year deal, the zinc supplier Teck will turn its zinc into high grade zinc oxide, which will then be converted into food fortification supplements by BASF. Teck says it already participates in zinc and health programs with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Free the Children, and the Micronutrient Initiative of the Government of Canada. The two companies will aim to reduce the global zinc deficiency in developing countries by 100 million by 2015.

The BASF-Teck project is a contribution to the United Nation’s Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) process, which is targeting current UN development goals to reduce poverty and hunger.