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SUSTAIN originated as a volunteer-based initiative to share food technology expertise with developing countries. Its early programs supported developing country food industries striving to improve product quality, food safety, packaging and marketing research. SUSTAIN volunteers, drawn largely from U.S. food industries, provided requesting businesses and organizations with hands-on expertise to achieve these goals.

In 1999 SUSTAIN launched operations as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose goal remains innovative food technology applications to improve nutrition in developing countries. Program resources support the development and application of technologies to address nutritional challenges such as the pervasive problem of micronutrient, protein and energy deficiencies (particularly among women and children).

With multi sector partners and the support of donors we focus program activities on quality and nutritional enhancements of widely consumed food products to help alleviate malnutrition and improve quality of life in developing countries. Our major recent initiatives have yielded:
  • technology for micronutrient enrichment of tortillas made fresh daily in neighborhood mills throughout Mexico
  • recommended upgrades to food aid quality assurance
  • recommendations for enhanced formulation of humanitarian aid products
  • a reliable, efficient laboratory method to prescreen iron fortificants for efficacy
  • an exhaustive evaluation/ranking of the most widely used iron fortificants
  • a critical assessment of innovative technologies for enhancing iron absorption