e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Multiple micronutrient powders for point-of-use fortification of foods consumed by pregnant women

Micronutrients are only needed in very small quantities but are essential for normal physiological function, growth and development. Deficiencies of micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron, iodine and folate are particularly common among during pregnancy, due to increased nutrient requirements of the mother and developing fetus. These deficiencies can negatively impact the health of the mother, her pregnancy, as well as the health of the newborn baby.

Point-of-use fortification with multiple micronutrient powders refers to the addition of powders containing vitamins and minerals to energy-containing foods at home or in any other place where meals are to be consumed, such as schools, nurseries and refugee camps

WHO recommendations

Routine use of multiple micronutrient powders during pregnancy is not recommended as an alternative to standard iron and folic supplementation during pregnancy for improving maternal and infant health outcomes.

This recommendation is based on the very limited evidence to directly assess the potential benefits or harms of the use of point-of-use fortification with multiple micronutrient powders in pregnant women for improving maternal and infant health outcomes.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines


Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines
Clinical trials

Last update:

9 June 2016 09:53 CEST

Category 1 intervention

Guidelines have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee


Implementation of this intervention is not recommended