Push-button personal pills?
The scientists at Nestle are working on it.
Fifteen top minds at Nestles Institute of Health Sciences in Switzerland are developing a kitchen appliance that can read your daily supplement deficiencies and spit out a personalized capsule (or food!) to fix them. It’s a Nespresso for nutrients, according to Bloomberg, where the story was reported.
Code-named “Iron Man,” the device will provide “an analysis of what’s missing in our diets, and a product, tailored to you, to help make up that difference,” NIHS director Ed Baetge told Bloomberg. “In the past, food was just food,” he said. “We’re going in a new direction.”
Any Iron Man-derived products would be more effective than multivitamin supplements found in drugstores, which are not tailored for specific needs, Baetge said.
On-the-spot custom supps would be pricier, too. For the vitamin-mixing machine to work properly you'll have to input your nutrient profile and, according to University of Minnesota researchers quoted on engadget, it’ll cost at least $50 to analyze the level of each nutrient, and it could cost more than $1,000 for a complete analysis.
Nestle’s research on personalized nutrition could lead to “business propositions that today we cannot imagine,” Luis Cantarell, leader of Nestle Health Science, told the news service. He acknowledges, though, that the era of fully customized foods is further away than the five to ten years that Nestle researchers predict. For right now, the Nespresso machine will make just coffee.
Companies are already moving a step closer to Iron Man. A handful like YouBar and SlantShack Jerky invite consumers to choose which ingredients they need, or like, and they’ll create the customized products in their kitchen and send them.