e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Multiple micronutrient powders for home 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.

Micronutrient powders are single-dose packets of vitamins and minerals in powder form that can be sprinkled onto any ready to eat semi-solid food consumed at home or any other point of use.

WHO recommendations

As there is currently no available evidence to directly assess the potential benefits or harms of the use of multiple micronutrient powders in pregnant women for improving maternal and infant health outcomes, routine use of this intervention during gestation is not recommended as an alternative to iron and folic acid supplementation.

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines


Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines
Related Cochrane reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

27 July 2015 13:48 CEST

Category 1 intervention

Guidelines have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee


Implementation of this intervention is not recommended