Nestlé just wants to know what you’re missing and get it in your belly, Star Trek-style. The company has unveiled a new nutrition program, codenamed “Iron Man” yes really designed to track your intake, scan you for nutritional deficiencies, and create meals and/or pills to fills in those gaps.
Nestlé’s Institute of Health Sciences (based in Switzerland, because all important scientific findings happen there) established Iron Man last year; the program includes 15 scientists working toward a goal much broader than Nestlé’s other current endeavors. The program’s aim is to discover the links between vitamin and mineral deficiencies and corresponding diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular issues.
By analyzing an individual’s chemical makeup, NIHS can develop Iron Man products tailored to consumers’ specific dietary needs. For example, if you are, like us, 90% bitterness then Iron Man can provide some sweetener. NIHS director Ed Baetge explains:
“Iron Man is an analysis of what’s missing in our diets, and a product, tailored to you, to help make up that difference. In the past, food was just food. We’re going in a new direction.”
The process currently involves feeding nutrient profiles into a machine that then calculates the exact amount of magnesium or vitamin K necessary in an individual’s meal. These products—said to be much more effective than current over-the-counter multivitamin supplements—could even come to you in the form of a Nespresso capsule. With this mental image in mind, NIHS has drawn comparisons to the “replicator” food machine, as seen on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
However, these innovations aren’t coming down the pipeline immediately. We’re at least 5-10 years away from fully customized foods and the program has several skeptics who don’t believe that tailoring nutrients to the individual is the way to go and God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural fluids.
Living in the future is weird.