Particles for Humanity project led by Sherry Tanumihardjo receives approval to begin studying a stable form of vitamin A in humans

Particles for Humanity project led by Sherry Tanumihardjo receives approval to begin studying a stable form of vitamin A in humans

Particles for Humanity Receives Approval to Begin a Study of PFH-VAP in Humans


Particles for Humanity 

12 Dec, 2023, 11:00 ET

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.Dec. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Particles for Humanity has received approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States to begin a human absorption study of PFH-VAP, a stable form of vitamin A. The study is designed to confirm that PFH-VAP’s improved stability enables more vitamin A to be delivered into the human body after consumption. Particles for Humanity has partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Tropical Diseases Research Centre in Zambia to conduct the study as part of its effort to combat vitamin A deficiency (VAD).

VAD is a devastating public health problem affecting 190 million children and 19 million pregnant women worldwide. It causes 2.5 million deaths per year, most of which occur in Africa. Large scale food fortification is a proven strategy for addressing micronutrient deficiencies at scale. By adding vitamins and minerals to widely consumed foods, food fortification reaches millions of people without access to a nutritious diet. However, vitamin A instability in hot and humid conditions, like those found in many parts of Africa, limits the effectiveness of this intervention. PFH-VAP can make food fortification more effective at addressing vitamin A deficiency because of its superior stability.

“Vitamin A deficiency afflicts 54% of young children in Zambia, and millions more throughout the continent. We are eager to confirm that PFH-VAP will result in more vitamin A being absorbed relative to the commercial product and help pave the way for its successful use in food fortification,” said Dr. Justin Chileshe, Research Scientist at the Tropical Diseases Research Centre and co-Principal Investigator on the study.

Previous research has demonstrated that PFH-VAP has a 4x stability advantage over a leading commercial form when stored in bouillon under hot and humid conditions. In this new study, humans will consume bouillon fortified with PFH-VAP as well as bouillon fortified with a commercial form of vitamin A. PFH-VAP’s improved stability is expected to enable higher vitamin A levels in the body than the commercial form.

“Research to date makes us hopeful that PFH-VAP will deliver more life-saving vitamin A into the bodies of people who need it most. With the help of our colleagues in Zambia, we are thrilled to take this next step in the fight against malnutrition related to vitamin A status.” said Sherry Tanumihardjo, Professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Principal Investigator on the study.

Particles for Humanity transforms early-stage medical technology into products for people living in low and lower-middle income countries. It is developing a portfolio of products with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mulago Foundation, and King Philanthropies. Its rigorous product development process is based on end-user input and is focused on financially sustainable product opportunities. Visit or contact

SOURCE Particles for Humanity